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Salary Range
€18k - €42k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.

In Summary - Polymer Technician

Career Sectors

Polymer Technicians typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Plastics & Polymer
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical Devices
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech

Videos on the Web

The Work - Polymer Technician

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.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Monitor product quality to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
  • Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses.
  • Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.
  • Conduct chemical or physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative or quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, or gaseous materials.
  • Provide and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs, committees, or teams and by conducting laboratory or plant safety audits.
  • Prepare chemical solutions for products or processes, following standardized formulas, or create experimental formulas.
  • Maintain, clean, or sterilize laboratory instruments or equipment.
  • Write technical reports or prepare graphs or charts to document experimental results.
  • Provide technical support or assistance to chemists or engineers.
  • Order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interests - Polymer Technician

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Qualities

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.

Entry Requirements - Polymer Technician

Apprenticeship Route

The official entry route for a Polymer Technician is through undertaking an apprenticeship.

Click here to find information on the Polymer Processing Technologist apprenticeship

Pay & Salary - Polymer Technician

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €42k

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.

Labour Market Updates - Polymer Technician

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

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

Useful Contacts - Polymer Technician

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