Mick – Technical engineer

Have you ever wondered about the science behind the development of seats on trains and buses? Or for that matter the jobs that are essential to carry out this work? Well…look no further, Mick explain his job for you here.

What attracted you to this job?

I’ve always had an interest in science and its role in manmade and natural processes so this was an ideal job for me.

What does your typical day involve?

Every day is different but I am mostly involved in giving technical help to the finishing and Quality Assurance departments; responding to customer queries regarding fabric, chemical and physical properties; providing advice on shade matching to colleagues and dyers, and ensuring that processing routes are correctly implemented.

I also frequently give advice to others on requirements for flammability for upholstery fabrics that are used in contract environments such as offices and public buildings, as well as on trains, buses and coaches.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

Being able to complete a task/project that makes a positive contribution to sales or manufacturing and is appreciated by others.

What do your friends and family think about your job?

They only know that I work for a textile company on the technical side, other than that I do not discuss work at home or with friends.

Tell us more about your environment in terms of work-life balance

To obtain the balance I tend to try and get into work earlier. This reduces the travel time and increases my time to be able to think more clearly on the tasks for the day ahead. This allows me to leave work at the normal time giving more time on an evening to relax. The company is fairly flexible with hours and understand any problems that may occur.

How did you get to where you are today? (i.e. qualifications and career route)

After dropping out of University I was offered a job as a trainee dyer. Despite being made redundant a few years later, I was offered the dyers role at the same company. Over the years the role changed to include finishing processes, quality control and designing. It was during this time that I decided to study with the Open University (B.Sc Chemistry with Natural Sciences) and (Undergraduate Diploma: Computing) to enable me to broaden my options.

I was fortunate enough to be offered a Job as a technical engineer with my current company, and I believe that this is partly due to my qualifications. Whilst working for Camira I was able to complete another OU course in Environmental Control and Public Health to enable me to further understand the constraints that are in place for emissions to the environment.

What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field?

There is a need to understand the basics of all of the scientific disciplines to enable you to progress. This will then enable you to solve problems, propose ideas and answer questions from manufacturing and customers.

How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for someone in your field, and how much can this be expected to rise?

The salary seems reasonable compared to non-skilled jobs.

Out of ‘office hours’, what lights your fire?

In my spare time I enjoy socialising with friends, walking the dog and reading.

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

Most embarrassing for me (so far!) was when I had to ask for help and get someone to throw a bucket of water over me due to a caustic soda spillage.


Developed in association with Camira Fabrics.