Fairground workers operate rides and carry out maintenance at theme parks or travelling fairgrounds.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a fairground worker
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could start by doing a leisure and entertainment maintenance engineering advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could join a theme park or fairground as part of the ticketing and admissions team or catering services. You could then move into operating and maintaining rides as you get more experience and do training on the job.
You could apply for maintenance jobs if you’ve got some experience in mechanical or electrical service and repair work. Employers will prefer you to be 18 or over for insurance purposes.
You may be able to apply at age 16 for seasonal work to operate smaller rides and collect fares.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- practical skills for repairing and maintaining equipment
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to repair machines or systems
- problem-solving skills
- persistence and determination
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
A large goods vehicle (LGV) driving licence may also be useful if you’re working in a travelling fair.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- operating and supervising rides
- making announcements over a public address (PA) system
- carrying out safety checks on the rides before the park opens
- carrying out small repairs
- general cleaning work
If you work for a travelling fair, you’ll also spend time:
- dismantling rides and other attractions
- loading equipment for transportation
- putting up rides at the next site.
You could work in a park or at events.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to a supervisory management post, especially in larger parks.
You could move into other types of work within the fair or theme park, like working in shops and catering outlets, cleaning, security work, and in some cases, caring for and managing animals.