Polymer Technologists use chemistry based scientific methods to develop, test and manufacture synthetic chemicals and materials, such as plastics, rubber and composites (where two or more materials are used) for consumer goods and manufacturing.
Polymer technologists usually work for clients across different industries, to develop and analyse new and existing materials and moulds to ensure their quality, durability and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process and measure environmental effects and how to improve or strengthen polymers or make them more sustainable. The majority of job roles are laboratory or factory based.
Duties may include:
- working in laboratories using complex chemical processes, software and equipment
- working to client requirements and budgets
- analysing and presenting data
- writing technical reports
- solving scientific problems and identifying solutions
- following health and safety policies and procedures
- working in teams
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for polymer technologists
- strong chemical knowledge and understanding
- strong spoken, written and report writing skills
- highly numerate and analytical, with strong attention to detail
- ability to interpret and present data
- high level laboratory skills and health and safety knowledge
- strong technical skills
- process driven
- client focused
- creative problem solving
- strong organisation and project management skills
- ability to work in a team
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of polymer technologists
- polymer manufacturers
- plastic manufacturers
- automotive manufacturers
- aerospace manufacturers
- engineering companies
- research Institutes
Qualifications and training required
Strong mathematical and scientific understanding is required. Good GCSE/ Higher results in maths and science subjects are required.
Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships are offered by some employers and usually require GCSE English, Maths and Science for entry.
A Level/ Advanced Higher Physics, Chemistry and/ or Maths are required for entry to Chemistry, Physics and Engineering based degrees.
Many jobs and research positions require postgraduate qualifications at masters and PhD level.