Becoming a Structural Technician – Chris’ journey

Becoming a Structural Technician – Chris’ journey

Chris Warren is a Senior Structural Technician at Andrew Waring Associates (AWA). Growing up enjoying drawing, Chris applied to work as a structural technician after seeing a job advertised in a local newspaper at the age of 17. We speak to Chris about his career and why he has never looked back.

When leaving school, Chris didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do but soon found a job in a local newspaper advertising a technician role.

Having always loved drawing, he applied at age 17 and has never looked back.

He said, “I kind of fell into it. I’ve always enjoyed trying to make things work, creating solutions and of course drawing.”

Chris first started working at AWA 16 years ago and described it as having a “great atmosphere.”

He joked: “I’ve been here a long time, so I must be doing something right!

“Seriously though, there are around 15 people in the team and they’re a great bunch. Everyone knows everyone and we all get along. There’s no one that’s not approachable.”

Chris highlighted that a key benefit to working at AWA is the variety in projects.

He said “We offer every solution, from a garage to a big hospital, for instance. You know, it’s kind of a wide range and involves working with a breadth of different materials.

“The role is quite technical. It has changed slightly over the years too, with the use of 3D drawing packages such as Revit. I enjoy the 3D work, the idea in theory is that it helps to eliminate any on-site issues before you get there, so that we and our clients can see everything fit together more easily.”

Becoming a Structural Technician involves completing a HNC qualification, which can be undertaken alongside work or full-time. Understanding the importance of developing their workforce, AWA offers support to candidates for both of these options.

After finishing school, Chris took the decision to work and undertake his HNC part-time.

He said, “The handy thing about doing a course part-time is that you’re getting paid as well as learning on the job. What I learnt in college was useful but I found that it didn’t always transfer to the reality of working on a project – learning on the job is good for that.”

“Completing a part-time course isn’t for everyone though. It really depends on what you want at that stage in your life and in the future.”

“AWA offers both options for candidates which is great. If working as a structural technician sounds like a career path of interest, my advice would be to stick with it and work hard.”

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