A day in the life of an Engineer Surveyor
I left the Army in July 2009 and commenced work with Zurich as a Trainee Engineer Surveyor in September 2009.
Prior to commencing training it had already become apparent to me how much of a professional and efficient organisation Zurich was, this was due to the quantity and quality of contact and information I had received even before my start date. I was anxious, yet excited as to what was ahead of me after leaving the Army and team environment but during the early stages of my training and my initial Induction course at head office Birmingham my mind had soon been put to rest and it was clear that I had become a member of another professional and focused team.
The training given was varied and challenging and I soon learnt that a new chapter of my life had begun. The equipment supplied and the knowledge passed to me throughout my training was of the highest standard and well prepared me for the next stage as an Engineer Surveyor. As a homeworker, I was unsure as to how I would adapt after leaving the Forces but any problems or difficulties that arose were easily resolved by the depth of Information available to me on the “Toughbook” or by contacting my appointed “Technical Standards” mentor or any member within my team.
The role of an Engineer Surveyor is varied and flexible and 5 years in, still challenging and fulfilling. Each day is different and the flexibility of the role to suit my personal life is something that I could not have found anywhere else. The opportunities within Zurich for personal and professional development are something that I have taken full advantage of. I have trained in many different competencies and this adds to the daily and weekly variety of the role and I even spend time off shore on wind turbines, something that I would have never thought I would have had the opportunity be involved with. Coming from the Forces and attaining the Rank of Staff Sergeant, I was clearly not the type of person to sit back and watch the world go by. Zurich has given me the opportunity for progression within the Business and I have made full use of this by attending numerous personal and professional development courses.
Leaving the Forces after 17 ½ years and now 5 years into my new career as an Engineer Surveyor, I can honestly say that I that I am here to stay. I have never looked back and always look forward to my next challenges of which I know there will be plenty.
A day in the life of a Lift/Crane Engineer Surveyor
Leaving the forces after 22 years was a rather daunting prospect but Zurich was very understanding and supportive. Since joining Zurich and from day one I felt like a valued employee. Everybody from the Head of Engineering and the Area Managers down to the newest recruit are on first name terms, this makes it a very welcoming and open company to work for that makes you feel you are truly part of a team.
One of the main advantages I see with the role is the flexibility, you don’t clock in and out every day. It’s not a straight 8-5 role, as you work from home you can adjust times to suit your needs. If on occasion you need to take some time out to deal with a personal issue you can fit your working day and planning / reporting in around it, even working in the evening after the kids are in bed if that suits best.
Generally I like to start early, trying to avoid the worst of the rush hour, and head to my first client, company car provided and travelling time is included in the working day. Depending on the client and location I try to start inspections around 08:00. Depending on the work this could be one client for several days, or several clients in one day. I grab a butty for lunch and aim to be home mid-afternoon I then complete any outstanding paperwork, answer emails and plan further work for the following weeks or month in my home office. It’s also a good time for completing expenses and attending webinars on the company’s progress.
All work information, reporting, emails, training is available on your issued Toughbook PC. This goes with me to every client, you then have all the information to hand. Even if another client calls, you can pull up their details and discuss their issue immediately. We also have 3G smartphone access and can send and receive information on the move if required.
As all client information is available on the Toughbook PC the onus is on you to plan your days according to due date, and to minimise traveling, this is where the time flexibility and understanding client needs really pays dividends. Some clients require inspections before store trading hours and some prefer afternoons when the equipment is back in the yard.
The variety of work is huge, from Passenger Lifts, Forklift trucks, Stair lifts and Tail lifts, to Cranes, MEWP’s, Lifting Accessories, Patient Hoists and Vehicle Lifting Tables.
Don’t be daunted by the range of equipment as hands on training, normally 16 weeks is given before you sit an examination to prove your knowledge. There are also online training modules for each different competency which you can refer to again and again even after training. You are also assigned a Senior Engineer Mentor to oversee your progress. Once you have passed the basics you may be asked/required to expand onto other equipment – in my case Escalators/Travelators and Suspended Access Equipment.
To me one of the rewards of the role is the trust and autonomy, being left to manage my own time and resources and not being told what to do and when. You also have to think on your feet and be adaptable to any situation that may arise, whether that’s being stuck on a lift or being given the wrong client contact information, every day often throws up a new challenge. Another massive plus was that Zurich were happy to let me finish my day release at college to complete the HNC after employment.
Other benefits include 25 days holiday but you can ‘flex’ your benefits to buy more, so I like to maintain 30 days holiday a year plus bank holidays. There is a variety of other benefits available from child care vouchers and healthcare to share save schemes and pension options.