What’s it all about then?
As Technical Coordinator, you’ll be providing administrative support to the management and staff of the food or drink company’s technical department.
You’ll be making sure that the technical side of company business runs smoothly which means working with other colleagues and departments within the business as well as suppliers and customers.
You’ll be a key member of the technical team, making sure that any problems are resolved quickly and responding to any issues that may arise.
What might I be doing?
The specific tasks of the Technical Co-ordinator are variable and will depend on factors such as the size of the department and the functions that the Technical Manager needs you to perform.
However the following activities are fairly typical of this role:
- Providing administrative assistance to the Technical Manager and the other members of the department
- Liaising with other departments, suppliers and customers
- Investigating complaints
- Ensuring that all technical staff are kept up to date with procedures
- Managing information flows into and out of the department
- Coordinating all audit information and compiling statistical data
- Preparing technical reports
- Representing the Technical department as required
- Drafting specifications and standard operating procedures
- Making recommendations for system improvements
- Ensuring all databases are maintained and updated
- Coordinating customer audits
What will be expected of me?
This is a role which needs someone able to work on a variety of different projects at any one time while still maintaining a high level of focus - so your time management and organisational skills will be top notch.
You’ll need to be a really good communicator of information and confident when dealing with your own senior management as well as customers and suppliers.
You’ll be an expert on all of your company’s products and systems so that you can do the job effectively - this means having practical experience.
You’ll need to present yourself properly at all times and show that you’re enthusiastic and full of energy.
What can I expect?
This is a varied job with a number of things going on at any one time.
You will work office hours but spend time in the factory, meaning you’ll often be wearing protective clothing. You can also expect to meet with customers so travel could be part of the job as well.
As you generate reports and make recommendations, you can also expect to be making presentations to senior management at times.
You’ll need to have a high standard of written English and spoken communication skills and be able to analyse complicated information and summarise data effectively.
What about the pay?
The salary for the post of Technical Coordinator is around £22,000 a year depending on your experience and areas of responsibility.
With several years’ experience you could be earning up to £28,000 a year.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
To get the job of Technical Coordinator you’ll probably already be an experienced quality auditor - so you’ll already understand the company’s quality procedures and systems.
You may have initially started your career as a line operative and later moved into a technical role. Alternatively, you may have come into the company as a graduate trainee and gained auditing experience while you learned about the different roles within the company.
The qualifications required for this job, therefore, are likely to be a combination of your entry-level qualifications coupled with skills and experience gained within the technical environment.
You will probably have some science-related A-levels such as Chemistry and Biology. In addition, many companies now specify a degree in a relevant subject such as:
- Food Technology/Food Science
You might also be able to start out on the path to this role via an Apprenticeship which you can start after GCSEs. You’ll need to have Maths, English and Science subjects all at grade C or better.
Alternatively, you could think about Further Education study for a National Certificate or Diploma.
What about further training?
In most cases you will receive regular training from your employer but you might want to think about aiming to complete a Higher Apprenticeship which you can do while working.
There are also professional bodies such as the Chartered Quality Institute which provide guidance on qualifications that will help with your career.
In all cases, it’s a good idea to check Higher Education and Further Education University or College prospectuses to see what’s available at any given time, so that you can take the opportunity to get better-qualified and take your career onwards.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes this is a busy but rewarding job and provides a link between the job of auditing in a factory environment and that of technical supervisor or manager.
The experience you gain about the wider technical functions of your company coupled with learning about dealing with suppliers and customers could set you up for a rewarding career in technical management.