Fairground workers, also known as theme park attendants, operate, maintain and rides in parks or travelling fairgrounds. They also assemble and install the rides in different sites. If you have good customer care skills, enjoy practical work and possess the ability to closely follow procedures, this could be the perfect career for you.
What do Fairground Workers do?
The day-to-day duties of fairground workers include:
- Working in teams to operate rides
- Repairing rides that develop minor mechanical problems
- Carrying out safety checks before rides are used
- Using public address systems to make announcements
- Cleaning, dismantling and reassembling rides and other equipment
Although fairground workers have flexible job schedules, they spend roughly 40 hours a week on the job. They may work during the day, in the evenings, weekends and public holidays. In a travelling fair, fairground workers usually travel between different locations, meaning they may need to spend long periods of time away from families and friends.
Since they mostly work outdoors, they can be exposed to hot sun, strong winds and other harsh weather conditions. The work also involves lifting heavy machinery and working at heights. If you are not physically fit, start hitting the gym!
Because many fairground workers work on short-term contracts during the holiday season, their salaries are not well-documented. Regardless, they usually earn between £3.72 and £6.31 an hour. In a year, they can make:
Starting fairground workers
£7,143 – £12,115
Here comes the most interesting part. You don’t need any formal qualifications to find work as a fairground worker. You just need to be at least 16 years old and possess some experience working with the public.
If you, however, feel that you need to undergo some training, you can join a local environmental services skills apprenticeship program.
Alternatively, you could join a theme park as part of the admission team or catering service then move into ride operations.
It is also beneficial to have an LGV driving license.
Important Skills and Abilities
To become a competent fairground worker, you should have the following skills:
- Excellent practical skills
- A reasonable level of physical fitness
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good customer care skills
- The ability to work as part of a team and as an individual
- The ability to deal with emergencies effectively
Training and Development
Once you get a job, experienced fairground workers will give you some on-the-job training to help develop your skills. Afterwards, you can take a Level 2 (NVQ) Award in Mechanical Ride Operation, which covers areas such as:
- Operating rides
- Health and safety
- Customer service.
As a fairground worker, leisure and amusement parks are your main employers. In the UK, the most popular parks include:
After gaining experience, you can become a fairground supervisor. If you wish to change work settings, you could move into other areas within theme parks, such as security and cleaning.
For further information, visit:
- Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
- British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions
Finally, according to the Showmens’ Guild, over 200 travelling fairs are held per week in the UK. This means prospective fairground workers should be able to find regular work. Besides, if you love travelling, this career will provide plenty of opportunities to do so.