Senior Science Technician

I'm an odd ball.
Senior tech in name (Full time post), Physics dept, but I dont supervise the Biology or Chemistry Technicians.
I do however keep the other techs appraised of any CLEAPSS updates or missives from on high. Each HoD is the technicians line manager,
I started off TTO, then took over Portable Appliance Testing, keeping the photocopiers running, repairing anything electronic, and helping on the stage,
Now, the PAT is out sourced, Photocopiers belong to IT, but the stage has expanded massively (£100,000 investment last year)
28 years doing what I do, I doubt anyone actually knows the ins and out of the buildings like I do or the "invisible jobs (Mr D.T. says "do you have a CR2032 battery?") or electrician "Where is this half of the room fused from?" So IF I retire (take voluntary redundancy) or die there will be severe consternation, scratching of heads and a few people abandoning ship.
 
I'm going to throw this one in and step back!!!
Joking aside, referring to the colleagues you supervise (or anyone for that matter) as 'minions' or 'underlings' is not acceptable and certainly not something a manager should ever do! In a previous career (police) I would have been disciplined for such language and it is irrelevant whether they were aware of or heard me saying it or or whether I was joking or not.
I agree. Describing your fellow technicians as minions just because you are their line manager is extremely disrespectful.
 
What makes a senior tech senior? Is supervising other Techs a requirement ie can a lone tech ever be a senior tech? Just curious. I’m in Scotland so may be different to Englandshire.
We have a mixture here. I am lead tech. We have 2 seniors who are Physics & Chemistry specialists who also are responsible for their area & prep room, & 1 tech who is part time. Depends on how the school want to word it. We changes titles when we became Academy & have a Principal instead of Head
 
Unless the Senior is assigning tasks to other technicians then it is pointless having such a title (unless a lone tech who wants more money).

Technicians can find all the H&S info they need on CLEAPSS. Ordering new equipment or chemicals doesn't take long and isn't difficult.

Preparing and cleaning practicals is the bread and butter of being a technician which we all do.
 
this was proposed in 2004, a senior technician does not need to lead a team.

A four-level career structure for science technicians working in schools and colleges was published by the Association for Science Education (ASE), the Royal Society and CLEAPSS in July 2004. What are the details of the four-level structure?

The four-level structure, which is recommended to all schools and colleges, is as follows:

Trainee technician: to work under the direction of a senior technician/team-leader technicians to provide general assistance and information as required in the preparation of resources for practical lessons and maintenance of equipment
Technician: to work under the guidance of a senior technician/team-lead technician to coordinate the use and maintenance of practical resources and facilities, and to provide assistance and advice in meeting the practical needs of the science curriculum (this may involve preparation of resources, constructing and modifying apparatus, together with assisting the demonstrators)
Senior technician: to coordinate the use of practical resources and facilities and provide assistance and advice in the practical needs of science curriculum (this may, but not necessarily, involve organising and supervising trainee technicians, together with giving technical advice, and health and safety advice, to teachers, technicians, and students)
Team leader technician: to be responsible for managing the technical support team for the science department; for setting up and monitoring systems used in the management and control of practical resources, including budgets; to ensure that the technician team keeps up to date with health and safety requirements and developments in practical science; to manage and monitor the performance of and supervise colleagues.
 
Last edited:
I'm an odd ball.
Senior tech in name (Full time post), Physics dept, but I dont supervise the Biology or Chemistry Technicians.
I do however keep the other techs appraised of any CLEAPSS updates or missives from on high. Each HoD is the technicians line manager,
I started off TTO, then took over Portable Appliance Testing, keeping the photocopiers running, repairing anything electronic, and helping on the stage,
Now, the PAT is out sourced, Photocopiers belong to IT, but the stage has expanded massively (£100,000 investment last year)
28 years doing what I do, I doubt anyone actually knows the ins and out of the buildings like I do or the "invisible jobs (Mr D.T. says "do you have a CR2032 battery?") or electrician "Where is this half of the room fused from?" So IF I retire (take voluntary redundancy) or die there will be severe consternation, scratching of heads and a few people abandoning ship.
So true, I was bit gobsmacked when we had an electrical problem & the caretakers didn't know where the fuses & switches were. Being an old times I knew the random cupboards & rooms they are in. Sometimes with no rhyme or reason.
There are so many 'invisible' tech jobs.
 

Julie Delaney

COMMITTEE
I am named Senior and used to have underlings. When I discovered that the LCC has a structure for that (grade 6 whereas I'm a 5 and my assistants were 4s) I approached the HT. She asked me to come to a meeting with my evidence, congratulated me for having the balls to do it but declined the application. Although I told the assistants exactly what to do, when to do it and filled out their appraisal forms I was not their line manager. In addition, although I do all the ordering and reconciling of orders including keeping spreadsheets I was not the budget holder. I stopped doing appraisals and haven't had one myself for many, many years. I now have no assistants as they were seconded then left. My line manager told me in lockdown that he wasn't sure if he was my line manager or not. 8 months to go.
You could not make it up. o_O
 

Carol Taylor

Footsore
The difference between affectionate jokey titles, nicknames etc and calling the people who work under you names like minions is that it's belittling and degrading to those people and totally inappropriate whilst you are in a position of authority over them simply because they are not really in a position to tell you that they don't appreciate it.
 

Carol Taylor

Footsore
So true, I was bit gobsmacked when we had an electrical problem & the caretakers didn't know where the fuses & switches were. Being an old times I knew the random cupboards & rooms they are in. Sometimes with no rhyme or reason.
There are so many 'invisible' tech jobs.
Same here. One was rather surprised to be shown the fuse panel in the chemistry store but it failed to be the one he needed. After much searching we found it in the biology store 2 flights of stairs away. My overhead light is switched on (and off unfortunately) from a switch in a different room. :)
I'm sure you would rather have a properly qualified colleague than a MINION!!:offtopic:
Indeed but never happened here. I've had a retired shoe salesman who got moved to science from being a lunch time supervisor. He had no science background at all and had been binning the bacteriology plates and used chemicals. At that time no-one had heard of cleapss. He was brilliant at scaling shelves without a ladder, driving the mini-bus and having long conversations about sport with anyone who caught him in the corridor. He was a legend, once removed the non-stick strip from double sided sticky tape before trying to cut it to size. The chair of the governors used to deliver pavlova to him, he was such a flirt and she fancied him.
 
Yeah, if I ever got an assistant I would never actually demean them by calling them a minion. But since right now I don't have one, they're as fictional as the actual Minions, so for now 'tis a placeholder term unless/until they see fit to bestow one upon me.
 
Unless the Senior is assigning tasks to other technicians then it is pointless having such a title (unless a lone tech who wants more money).

Technicians can find all the H&S info they need on CLEAPSS. Ordering new equipment or chemicals doesn't take long and isn't difficult.

Preparing and cleaning practicals is the bread and butter of being a technician which we all do.
Yeah, if I ever got an assistant I would never actually demean them by calling them a minion. But since right now I don't have one, they're as fictional as the actual Minions, so for now 'tis a placeholder term unless/until they see fit to bestow one upon me.
Agree. Ours does literally nothing more than send off the equipment orders which me and the other 2 ordinary techs put together ourselves on a spreadsheet so all he has to do is send it. Also does our annual appraisals pretending he is in a position to comment on my work (split site, never see him, doesn't have a clue what my job is like). I find it a bit annoying that he's being paid £4K more than me for this.
 
I wouldn’t mind being called a minion if I knew I was respected and valued by my line manager. I think it depends on the relationship between colleagues.
 
The role of Senior technician is a valuable role, it allows for recognition of hard work dedication and loyalty with a dedicated career path, encouraging new technicians to stay in the profession instead of leaving after 6-12 months. Would attract more applicants with experience instead of graduates with glowing qualifications no experience, and just wanting a job until in their eyes, something better comes along.
 
The role of Senior technician is a valuable role, it allows for recognition of hard work dedication and loyalty with a dedicated career path, encouraging new technicians to stay in the profession instead of leaving after 6-12 months. Would attract more applicants with experience instead of graduates with glowing qualifications no experience, and just wanting a job until in their eyes, something better comes along.
But what happens once you get to Senior? No further scope for career progression. Just the chance to take on more and more responsibility for no extra remuneration. I was a "normal" technician for 7 years and have been senior for 3. The teachers know I am hard working, dedicated and loyal, I also have a degree but these attributes are not reflected in the appallingly low salary with no further scope for advancement.
 
But what happens once you get to Senior? No further scope for career progression. Just the chance to take on more and more responsibility for no extra remuneration. I was a "normal" technician for 7 years and have been senior for 3. The teachers know I am hard working, dedicated and loyal, I also have a degree but these attributes are not reflected in the appallingly low salary with no further scope for advancement.

The "career path" hits a brick wall at Senior Technician
 
I've been a Senior Technician for 20 years was the first in our authority after putting together a valid argument due to the requirements of the technician role. I feel that progression in the role should be on merit within the job, some of the best technicians I have worked with have never been to university.
 
Top