Estates technician

NHS estates technicians maintain and repair systems that our patients and staff rely on.

Working life

As an estates technician, you'll be maintaining and repairing a range of equipment including

  • medical gas pipelines
  • heating systems
  • lifts
  • refrigeration systems
  • hot and cold water supplies
  • washers, steamers and disinfectors
  • fire and other alarms


  • diagnose faults
  • repair equipment
  • do routine, planned maintenance
  • install new equipment

Some technicians specialise in one aspect such as electrical or mechanical work, others are multi-skilled.

Who will I work with?

You may work alongside other estates services staff such as plumbers and electricians. You will also work with estates managers. You may travel between sites in an NHS vehicle or your own van.

While estates technicians are working inside a building, staff and patients may be there, but technicians do not usually have direct contact with healthcare staff or patients.

Entry requirements

Although there are no set entry requirements, estate technicians have qualifications, usually at level 3 or higher. Employers expect them to be qualified and experienced in at least one technical area such as

  • electrical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • plumbing
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Although estates technicians often join the NHS fully qualified and experienced, it may be possible to train as a technician. Employers ask for at least three GCSEs (or equivalent) including English maths and science.

Employers may ask for a driving licence.

Skills needed

Estates technicians need to

  • be interested in how things work
  • stay calm under pressure
  • work to deadlines
  • work at heights or confined spaces, if necessary
  • work alone or in a team
  • Skills Required
  • problem-solving skills
  • practical skills
  • good manual (hand) skills
  • organisational skills

Training and development 

When you start as a trainee estates technician, your training will include

  • health and safety
  • how to use the tools and equipment
  • maintenance and repairs
  • technical skills

You will be expected to study for qualifications such as NVQs.

Estates technicians can become members of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

  • Estates staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As an estates technician, you could start on AfC band 3 or 4. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 5 and above. 

    Estates technicians work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. The job may involve shifts including early starts, evenings and weekends. They may be part of an on-call rota for emergency cover.

    Terms and conditions will usually be different for bricklayers working outside of the NHS.

  • Once fully qualified and with experience, an estates technician can become a team leader, supervising the work of others. With further experience you could progress to become an estates manager, responsible for services in a hospital, area or trust.

    Estates technicians may be able to move into engineer roles.

    There may be opportunities outside the NHS.

  • If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. Find out more about NHS values.

    Most NHS trusts advertise their vacancies on NHS Jobs. Some of the current vacancies are below. 

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