Fairground Worker

Job Description:

Fairground workers operate the rides at theme parks or travelling fairgrounds, and look after ride repairs and maintenance.

Job Category:
Tourism, Hospitality & Entertainment

What you will 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

With a travelling fair, you’ll also dismantle rides and other attractions, loading equipment for transportation and putting up rides at the next site.


You’ll need:

  • administration & business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • physical fitness – as the job may involve physical tasks such such as assembling and disassembling rides and handling equipment
  • a basic understanding of mechanics can be helpful for troubleshooting and maintaining fairground rides
  • Fairground workers must prioritize safety and follow safety procedures to ensure the well-being of riders and visitors
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a fairground worker typically doesn’t require specific GCSE subjects. Fairground work is often a hands-on, practical job that focuses on operating and maintaining rides and attractions. However, certain GCSE subjects can still be helpful for developing skills and knowledge that may be relevant in this field:

  1. Mathematics: A basic understanding of mathematics is useful for handling money, making change for customers, and managing financial transactions at the fair.
  2. English: Good communication skills are essential, as you’ll need to interact with customers, answer questions, and potentially handle complaints.
  3. Design and Technology: This subject can provide valuable skills in understanding mechanical systems, which can be relevant when operating and maintaining fairground rides.
  4. Health and Safety: While not a specific GCSE subject, knowledge of health and safety principles is crucial in the fairground industry. Familiarity with safety regulations and protocols is important to ensure the well-being of both customers and staff.
  5. Business Studies: Understanding basic business principles can be helpful if you aspire to run or manage a fairground operation. Knowledge of budgeting, marketing, and customer service can be beneficial.
  6. Science: General science knowledge can be useful when operating and maintaining the mechanical and electrical components of fairground rides.

Post School

There are no set requirements to get into this role, but it might be helpful to:

  • get experience of handling money and working with the public
  • gain work experience on a theme park or fairground as part of the ticketing or catering teams
  • study a subject like mechanical engineering or electrics and electrical engineering at college or high school
  • get an LGV (large goods vehicle) driving licence

Many employers will prefer you to be aged 18 when you apply, but you could start aged 16 on smaller, children’s rides.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your work will involve long hours and usually include weekends, evenings, and shift work. You could be employed just for holiday periods.

If working on a long-term contract, you may live on-site in a mobile home and travel round the country.

This job can be physically tiring. You’ll spend lots of your time working outdoors and in uncomfortable positions, like in a booth managing a ride or dismantling rides between locations.

Career Path & 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.