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Maintenance Manager
Shepreth Wildlife Park

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Nick W

00:00:04 Hi, I’m Nick W and I’m the Maintenance Manager at Shepreth Wildlife Park. On a day to day basis I repair anything that’s faulty, really. It comes from all electrical work, plumbing, building refurbishments. It’s really fun growing up on the wildlife park. Didn’t really get a normal childhood where you’re playing because a lot of, as soon as I was able to pick up a spade I was out working. I’ve always been interested in working with my hands, I suppose because growing up here, really.

00:00:34 Working with my Dad was I suppose what got me into construction as well. To begin with I was a bit of a naughty student, I suppose, when you’re 16 and that, that’s what you’re like. So as I matured I realised that it’s more, you know, it’s actually quite important to get grades and that so I started to take things more seriously. I enjoyed finding out about…learning how things worked and things like that and the electrical principles and things like that I enjoyed.

00:01:00 So, I suppose I was always destined for something in construction or engineering but I’ve never really, never really had anything definite as a path I wanted to do. At one stage I really, when I was younger, I really wanted to be a policeman but when I left school I never had the right qualifications. I looked at courses, found BTech First Diploma in Engineering, passed that with a distinction and then once I passed that, full time education isn’t really my thing.

00:01:29 I wanted to get a job as well to, you know, afford to drive a car and things like that so I started looking around for jobs that involved apprenticeships and things like that. Found one at Cambridge University. There’s, you know, days you hated, days you really enjoyed it but I wouldn’t really change my apprenticeship because I’ve got to tackle a bit of everything where some apprenticeships you only get to just do sort of domestic work all the time.

00:01:57 I suppose I picked construction as well because everyone told you, “You’ll be alright as an electrician, you’ll always find work,” and to be fair that hasn’t been a lie. There always is work. The money’s not always as great as they say but there is always work. The job I really enjoyed was teaching, funny enough. Unfortunately, it took too much time out of my social life. It was sort of 14 hour days because obviously nine till five you’ll be teaching in the classroom and then the rest of your evening you’ll be preparing notes for teaching for the next day.

00:02:31 But that was my most enjoyable job because you’re working with students, some who, you know, some, I suppose, were a waste of time that shouldn’t have been there, but the ones who wanted to be there they were a good crowd, they wanted to learn and you were helping them really. The turning point to my life was getting married. Ever since I had kids, I had to make sure that every job I had paid…covered all the bills so I couldn’t go back to any training jobs at all. So, one thing I do regret is not fulfilling all my training ambitions, if you like, before I got married and had kids.

00:03:07 I enjoy swimming, running, I do scuba diving. At the moment, since I’ve had kids it’s been mainly going to the swings or going out with the kids to different, other wildlife parks. When I first started training as an electrician my ambition at that time was to get into management, which I achieved. I did that for two years and realised that as much as I enjoyed it, it wasn’t really what I wanted. The family business always came back so a permanent job opened up with my, in my family business so I came back to that which is probably where my heart has already always been, I suppose.

ENDS

Nick W is in charge of building maintenance at Shepreth Wildlife Park. He was brought up in the park as it's his family's business. He's tried other careers - he's been an electrician, a manager and a teacher. But nothing was really satisfying. He took a permanent job at Shepreth when the business was big enough to support a maintenance manager. He realises it's where his heart has always been.

More information about Engineering technicians

Check out 13 videos about this career

Data powered by LMI For All
£39,000
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

41
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

12%  female  88%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Engineering technicians perform a variety of technical support functions to assist engineers with the design, development, operation, installation and maintenance of engineering systems and constructions.

Qualifications

Entrants to training usually posses GCSEs/S grades. Vocational training consists either of full-time study for a BTEC/SQA award followed by two years on-the-job training, or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 3 or 4. An NVQ/SVQ in Aircraft Engineering Maintenance at Level 3 plus further professional qualifications are required to become a licensed aircraft engineer.

Tasks

  • Plans and prepares work and test schedules based on specifications and drawings;
  • Sets up equipment, undertakes tests, takes readings, performs calculations and records and interprets data;
  • Prepares estimates of materials, equipment and labour required for engineering projects;
  • Diagnoses and detects faults and implements procedures to maintain efficient operation of systems and equipment;
  • Inspects completed aircraft maintenance work to certify that it meets standards and the aircraft is ready for operation;
  • Visits and advises clients on the use and servicing of mechanical and chemical engineering products and services.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Head offices, etc 12376
Specialised construction 9510
Public admin. & defence 6344
Metal products 4657
Architectural & related 4206
Machinery, etc 4089
Other trans. equipment 3436
Repair & installation 3187
Warehousing, etc 2962
Wholesale trade 2826
Employment status