There is never a typical day at work due to the large amount of systems that the Ports of Jersey electrical team look after. One day I could be carrying out radiation surveys on the x-ray systems, and next aligning stand guidance systems or carrying out repairs to the air field ground lighting. As well asscheduled maintenance we have to be ready for any faults that happen. If the baggage system develops a fault, or one of the air field lighting circuits gets damaged, I will be called to carry out repairs to make sure the airport can continue to operate safely.
What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Good problem solving skills. Keeping calm under pressure. Good interpersonal skills.
Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I had always aimed to become a tradesman, which lead me to starting my electrical apprenticeship at 16. I completed this five years later, having gained Level 4 City and Guilds electrical qualifications. Whilst I enjoyed working on building sites, the opportunity to work at the airport was something that appealed to me when I saw the job advertised. Even though I was qualified to a high level when I started, there was a steep learning curve to gain all the extra qualifications and training to allow me to work on the complex systems at the airport.
What do you love most about working in your career area?
I get a great sense of achievement from fixing things, none more so than when one of those repairs has prevented delays at the airport. Most people have no idea how much work goes on behind the scenes to keep an airport running, this is a good thing as it means we are doing our job right.
Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
My job requires me to work shifts, which I like, however there are points in the middle of winter when getting out of bed for an early shift at 4.30am isn’t much fun.
What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I am a time served electrician, on top of that I have undertaken training to gain qualifications to be able to work on air field ground lighting systems, x-ray machines, baggage systems, runway grip testers, stand guidance systems and aircraft fixed electrical ground power systems. The electrical trade is constantly evolving, so my knowledge and training has to remain up to date with changing processes and approaches.
Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Working as an airport electrical technician is a very specific area within the electrical trade, especially when there is only one airport on the Island. However a career within the electrical industry as a wider picture provides jobs that are varied and challenging. A good head for maths and physics is essential, as the training both initially and throughout the career is based heavily around these disciplines.