What a WA-HEEY to make a living: Man who works as professional rollercoaster tester rakes in 20k a year testing up to 100 rides a day
Is this the best job in the world? Thrill seeker John Copper is a professional theme parks ride tester – and rakes in £20,000 a year testing up to 100 rides a day.
Adrenaline junkie John Cooper, 30, can spend up to ten hours a week test driving the dozens of rides and attractions at Drayton Manor theme park, in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire.
But while the stomach churning job definitely has its up and downs, John, from Tamworth, says that testing rides is his ‘dream job’ and has no plans of quitting anytime soon.
John said: “Having worked at the park for a number of years in every department, I worked really hard to be promoted to this dream position.
“I don’t think any other job could compare to this, it certainly wakes me up each morning.”
The guest services manager, who says his favourite ride at the park is Air Race, has been testing rides since 2009 after he was promoted to the position park bosses.
From the child-friendly Thomas the Tank Engine ride to the gut busting Apocalypse rollercoaster, John is tasked with making sure all the rides at the park are safe and operational before customers use them.
He said: “My main challenge is ensuring that guests have the best possible day out, so testing the rides each morning enables me to see the park through their eyes.
“It’s all about making sure everything is the best it can be, from checking the ride area is clear and clean, to checking the views and theming on the way round.”
But despite his joy at landing the role, John has had his fair share of spills to go along with the constant thrills he experiences on a daily basis.
He said: “One time, I thought my first port of call for the day would be testing the children’s rides, so made the mistake of eating a fairly hearty breakfast.
“The schedule ended up being changed last minute and first up was Maelstrom instead – one of our most vomit inducing rides.
“Needless to say I instantly regretted my choice of breakfast and although I managed to keep my cool on the ride, the aftermath wasn’t pretty.
“It’s safe to say I never made that mistake again, but it’s an occupational hazard.”