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Occupation Details

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Polymer Technician

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€18k > 42
Polymer Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 42
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Employment growth was at the national average; opportunities for technicians are likely to be due to replacement requirements rather than growth. The demand is largely for roles in high tech manufacturing especially for those with experience. Three new apprenticeships in this area will help to address identified skills shortage.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

3%
Occupational Category

Science & Engineering Technicians

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:

24,800

Part time workers: 5%
Male / Female: 65 / 35%
Non-Nationals: 7%
With Third Level: 70%
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At a Glance... header image

A Polymer (or Plastics) technician works in the in the manufacturing sector in a range of industries. 


Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Polymer technicians work in companies that produce and process polymers (plastics or rubber). They may work in production, quality control, product development, or sales and marketing.  
 
Polymer technicians in production work diagnose, analyse and solve problems that arise on the production line. They also supervise the work of machine operators, monitor the materials used and try to avoid wastage.  
 
Technicians working in quality control check the quality of the chemicals that are used to make or process the polymer. They also test the quality and physical properties of the finished products, to make sure that they are up to standard. They use specialist equipment to carry out tests on the strength, size, durability and flexibility of polymers. Machinery may need to be regulated or programmed for different products.  
 
Some polymer technicians are involved in development work, under the supervision of polymer technologists. This means that they test new products to see if they can go into production.  
 
Other polymer technicians become involved in sales and marketing where they deal with present and possible new customers.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Monitor product quality to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.

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Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses.

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Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.

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Conduct chemical or physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative or quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, or gaseous materials.

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Provide and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs, committees, or teams and by conducting laboratory or plant safety audits.

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Prepare chemical solutions for products or processes, following standardized formulas, or create experimental formulas.

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Maintain, clean, or sterilize laboratory instruments or equipment.

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Write technical reports or prepare graphs or charts to document experimental results.

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Provide technical support or assistance to chemists or engineers.

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Order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Chemistry: Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You need to be able to use computers as they are widely used in the plastics and rubber industries. The work also requires a thorough understanding of polymers and processing technology.  
 
You need to be well motivated with good mechanical and problem-solving skills because you will need to control and set machines, and find faults. Many jobs require the ability to communicate well with other people, such as technologists, scientists, engineers, operatives and customers.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: First Polymer Training Skillnets
Address:
Tel: (090) 647 1223
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Plastics Ireland
Address: Confederation House, 84-86 Lower Baggot St. Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 605 1624
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Engineering & Manufacturing
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech

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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 4


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