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Becoming a lab technician??

Discussion in 'Science' started by craftyangel, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. I'm an NQT teaching year 5 in Primary school. I'm going through a lot at the moment, I've been diagnosed with deopression which has caused me to be off sick for a month, I won't be back full time till after may half term. I am playing with the idea of leaving teaching as it's clearly pushed me over the edge, (although it may be the school rather than the job?)
    I really want to stay working in schools but not as a teacher, being a lab technician has caught my eye, I love anything to do with science and I could still work in a school (also the lantent obessive compulsive in me loves the idea of the organisation and sorting things!)
    However, even though my teaching specialism is Science and I have an A level in biology, I don't have a degree in science, I have a Primary Education degree. Is chasing this avenue a waste due to lack of qualifications or would it be worth a go?
    Thanks.
     
  2. I'm an NQT teaching year 5 in Primary school. I'm going through a lot at the moment, I've been diagnosed with deopression which has caused me to be off sick for a month, I won't be back full time till after may half term. I am playing with the idea of leaving teaching as it's clearly pushed me over the edge, (although it may be the school rather than the job?)
    I really want to stay working in schools but not as a teacher, being a lab technician has caught my eye, I love anything to do with science and I could still work in a school (also the lantent obessive compulsive in me loves the idea of the organisation and sorting things!)
    However, even though my teaching specialism is Science and I have an A level in biology, I don't have a degree in science, I have a Primary Education degree. Is chasing this avenue a waste due to lack of qualifications or would it be worth a go?
    Thanks.
     
  3. Sorry, I meant we are like gold dust. I have been a technician for 30 years in schools and it is a great job. None of my local schools are cutting back on techs so shouldn't be an issue. Teaching Assistant posts are much more vulnerable. I am a Chief Technician earning in excess of £30,000 . The more experience you gain the potential to earn that is there.
     
  4. Ahhh I see, even better! This does sound like the best thing for me, where should I look for jobs?
    Thank everyone, this is just what I needed to hear today!
     
  5. On pay: I have no information that would be useful for you. I have heard that Technicans get poor pay - teachers' opinions (not just the technicians' opinions!). We are in the London suburbs though so pay could be better elsewhere.
    On where to look for posts: there are occasionally some in the TES but our school and others advertise in local papers and the 'Metro' which (if you are not from London) is a sort of local freebie for commuters in London. I have also, on one occasion, seen a technician post advertised in the New Scientist (for St Paul's school).
    If you have a specific school in mind, you could keep an eye open for vacancies on their website.
    ...and while I am here I just want to sing the praises of our technician again. She has numbered the cupboards, shelves & trays and has an inventory of where everything is. So if she is away or we need something after hours, or there is a whatnot that got used 3 years ago & we need it urgently but no-one knows where it is.... we just look it up in the inventory & lo-and-behold we find it in cupboard 29.
     
  6. Thank for that, invaluble advice, I appreciate it!
    After a long think, I have decided that I need to be happy and working as a teacher is not making me happy, in fact it's seriously damaging my mental health. I'm of the opinion that there is more to life than money. If the cost of being happy is a cut in my income then it's worth it, every time. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and actually want to get up and start my day, that's what I need.
    You have no idea how attractive that is! A job where I need to be that organised, perfect!! I am now starting to sound worryingly like my mother and not much like a 22 year-old!
     
  7. Although science techs are apprieciated in the science department school management often considers them as little more than dinner ladies who are resented for costing the school money by compainining when yet another school supprt structure reorganisation sees their hours cut yet again, and "surely science practicals can be demonstrated on you tube so why do you needs technicians and expensive equipment anyway". The money is appalling for the experience and qualifications asked for, in west yorkshire you will be lucky to earn £12,000 a year and then most jobs are term time only so take off another £3000. However the science department can be a great place to work but marry a millionaire and treat it as a hobby because most schools do not pay a living wage.
     
  8. It does of course depend on where you're aiming to work, and of course on the individual schools, as ever.
    I was fortunate enough to get a full-time post (all year round- yes, including holidays) when I took it almost two years ago, however my replacement when I left was on a term-time only contract, and most other technicians I've spoken to are term-time only. It is unfortunate because I can see lots of jobs going undone over time.
    It's very much worth noting that schools seem to tend towards advertising a full-time salary with a (pro rata) tag added afterwards. I'd say around the south west that, before pro-rata, it is a living wage - but scrape off a quarter and then tax, it is verging on exploitation, especially with a degree behind you. Still - none of this working after school & all weekend long stuff - and it is interesting and varied, and fun! I would certainly consider going back to lab-teching in the future, perhaps if I have children of my own and want to spend more time with them.
     
  9. I was a school science tech who became a teacher, but returned to being a technician.


    + of being tech. When
    you leave work, you leave work behind you.
    No weekends and evenings worrying about marking/ planning etc. Lots of
    time off if term time only.
    + We work
    hard, but have a certain amount of fun in the prep room!


    - of being tech. I
    sometimes have a tinge of regret for not teaching, especially if I help
    children in class and that satisfied feeling when a child 'gets it' comes
    flooding back. At first it was difficult mentally when a class was
    being covered for a long period by a 'teacher' who was not a science specialist and I felt I should be helping with teaching, but I had
    to stand back.


    - I do find I am
    treated as a second class citizen at times by some teaching staff in my
    department and school.
    - As a tech you can, at times, end up
    doing extremely menial jobs.


    - The money is not
    good too; as some have said it depends where etc. An inner London job as a senior technician was adverised recently at around £25K, but the equivalent job in fringe London was £12K! Being term time only (many full time all year jobs
    are now being changed to part time and
    term time only when new person starting) reflects in pay too.


    - There is usually no
    chance for career progression, sometimes there are senior/ trainee roles in a school where someone
    can rise to be senior tech, but if the senior is young or not likely to leave
    soon you may remain in the lower paid ‘technician’ role for years. Many schools only have ‘technician’ positions
    anyway, so absolutely no chance of progression.


    I am glad I left
    teaching now, it hurt at the time and because I put up with stress etc to get
    my NQT year done I can still do some teaching if I want. Now, this is the thing, I would recommend
    finding a new school and finishing your NQT, if you can bear it, so that should
    you wish to teach part time you can.


    If you decide technicianing is right for you, look up jobs
    section on CLEAPSS web site (you don't need to log in). Join
    technician forums for advice and job ads. - the forum site TecHKnow is particularly friendly and helpful.
     
  10. Thanks all, very interesting stuff and lots to think about!
    I'm not looking for this to be a career, more like something to do and enjoy before I figure out my next move. I am a person who quite enjoys simple things. I was a cleaner for one summer, 5 days a week cleaning and really enjoyed it! So the meanial tasks attract me, oddly. Yeah, they may not reflect my first class degree but why should it? Happiness, that's what I'm after. (but not perfection, what job has that?!)
    Well my Mum and I did some budgeting, based on the average tech job wage where I live and because I'm single and have no dependants, I can live on £11,000! It is going to be tight, but to be happy with little is a great thing, life is simple and the little things count.
    So I'm going for it, why not? I know you've given me a lot of logical reasons why it's a risk to not complete my NQT and to go for technicianing (definately using that word!) but I didn't come to this decision based on logical reasons, I came to it because of my health and well-being which, often, aren't logical.
    If it doesn't work, well I'll just do something else!
     
  11. Yikes - £11 000, you must be living in a tent somewhere, eating berries & road-kill & cycling or walking to wherever you want to go, with no electricity, no phone, lots of lovely woolly jumpers and no need for savings.
    I trust you will NOT tell your future employer that you can cope on £ 11 K ! Check the local rates for Lab Technicians and aim for 5% to 10% above that. If you end up geting the same as the local rates, so be it, if you end up higher, then a pat on the back is due (and your first savings can be banked).
     
  12. Yes indeed, I have moved in with the animals of farthing wood. If only I had enough money for a new tent...
     
  13. You sound like one of the beautiful people. And I really mean that.
     
  14. I feel it. I really do.
     
  15. Just got back to work this week to discover that we will be advertising for 2 lab technicians. One for September & the other either for later this term or September.
    Trouble is, I have looked at the local map & 'Farthing Wood' looks too far away for you to cycle from each day ... ......shame, you sound like exactly the sort of person we need!
     
  16. Well, I could always relocate, I'm sure the foxes wouldn't mind!
    Where is the vacancy going to be?
     
  17. I have sent a message to your inbox. Look at the top of the page when you log in - you should see that you have mail!
     
  18. Ok, so it's been a while since I've posted on this thread but a vacancy has arisen in my area that I'm going to apply for.
    The advice I need now is what to put on the application, particularly the big blank box (as my uni tutor called it)? As I'm without experience in tech-ing but primary teaching, how do you think I should I go about making it relevent to the post?
    Ta muchly.
     

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