Lead Technician

Maintain a harbour, be on the water and manage a workshop team

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Average Income


per year


  • Problem solving is a constant
  • Apprenticeship routes to this role
  • Would suit practically minded and physically fit individuals

There are three elements of the role as a lead technician in a harbour.  The Lead Technician looks after the infrastructure of the harbour, manages the workshop team, and ensures the safe navigation of all vessels in the harbour.  The role can be very physical.  Maintaining all assets and infrastructure around the Harbour can present various challenges, which often require ad hoc outside of the box thinking to come up with a both creative and sensible solution to the problems as they arise.  

As part of this role, the Lead Technician is also a member of the harbour patrol team. This ensures safe use of the harbour, within our byelaws, as well as responding to emergencies as required. 

To get into this role, James had previously undertaken an apprenticeship with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, to which he gained both an NVQ Level 2 in Marine and Military engineering, alongside his Engine Room Watchkeeping certificate. This coupled with his on-the-job training led to completion of the apprenticeship, allowing him to hold a watch in the engine room. 


You could train straight from school as an engineering technician with the Royal navy or Merchant navy.  See The Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Royal Navy Careers | Guide to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) (mod.uk)

Engineering Apprenticeships: Engineering apprenticeships | Prospects.ac.uk

You could go to university and get a degree in:

  • Marine technology
  • Marine engineering
  • Naval architecture
  • Offshore engineering

Alternatively, look for courses, such as the two examples below:

Highbury College, Portsmouth: Level 3 Marine Engineering Level 3 Marine Engineering | Highbury AC

Brockenhurst College, New Forest: Level 3 Marine Engineering Apprenticeship Marine – Engineering Apprenticeship Level 3 | Course Brockenhurst College |


Chichester Harbour Conservancy (CHC)

CHC is unique in its purpose as it occupies two, normally separate, roles. Firstly, as the statutory harbour authority for the busiest recreational sailing harbour in Europe and secondly as custodian of the protected landscape known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

To carry out our conservation work the organisation receives funding from the county council but much of the work is made possible by charitable donations from a partner charity known as the Chichester Harbour Trust or through grants from other conservation organisations or government schemes.

As a small team on the AONB side of CHC, we are made up of an AONB Manager, an Ecologist, two Rangers, a Community Ranger, two Planners and an Education Department (who mostly run field trips for schools).  However, we certainly would not be able to function as effectively without the volunteers who help with various conservation tasks, events, or education.

Lead Technician

There are three elements of the role as a lead technician in a harbour.  The Lead Technician looks after the...

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