Passion for the job, deep down
Requirements: You need to be a team player with an open mind, and have strong communication skills. You must be able to swim and dive underwater, and be willing to work shifts.
Qualifications: There are no specific academic qualifications, but you need to be a licensed open-water diver with experience in mechanics and building maintenance. You also need a licence for repairing electrical equipment and vehicles.
Average pay: Salary depends on experience and qualifications. The job is a maintenance position, but since it requires diving skills, you can get a higher salary than for regular maintenance jobs. The position at Hong Kong Disneyland includes an allowance for night shift staff.
Work prospects: Work is usually done in shifts, which means you will probably have to work at night. You could be required to perform maintenance work anywhere in the park, for example, on rides, not just underwater. Most underwater tasks are performed at night, though, when the park is closed.
You can start off as a general technician to gain experience, before getting the necessary licences and diving certificates to apply for the position of underwater technician. Underwater tasks include searching for visitors' lost belongings, and maintaining and repairing attractions. This is usually done about twice a week, or according to a park's schedule, and the weather. Underwater technicians work about 45 hours a week.
The job of underwater technician at Disneyland requires extensive experience in maintenance. Therefore, it will be beneficial to obtain better qualifications and more experience before applying for the position.
Long-term prospects: At Disneyland, you start as a technician and can be promoted to senior technician depending on your performance.
Senior technicians have two career options.
Those who have good management and organisation skills can be involved in planning maintenance work. On the other hand, those who are good at problem solving can work in the engineering field.
The next step on the ladder is the managerial level. All promotions depend on experience and performance.
Where to apply: Theme parks, amusement parks and other industries with underwater property or attractions.
A day at work
Patrick Wong Nim-kay, a senior technician from the attractions engineering services team at Hong Kong Disneyland, says there is a lot of preparation before diving into the water.
First, they need to perform a series of safety checks, and look at the weather forecast. Then they go through a checklist of tasks they need to complete that day.
There must be at least two or three people, and someone to keep an eye on the weather and air supply.
Maintenance work is carried out at night when the park is closed, and the attractions are shut down. If there's a problem with a boat, for example, a technician needs to check each part carefully to find out the cause of the problem.
Besides maintaining ground and underwater attractions, technicians are responsible for taking care of their own diving equipment, which includes refilling air tanks.