Techniques Magazine Techniques February 2011 : Page 60

C AREER C UR VE Plastics Technician PHOTOS COuRTESy OF HENNEPIN TECHNICAL COLLEGE pLAStICS tECHNICIANS MAY WORk IN tHE MANUFACtURING INDUStRY where they set up and community and technical colleges, and some four-year colleges now offer bach-elor’s degrees in plastics technology. Explore More maintain machines, work as machine operators or in quality control. They may also work as mold and toolmakers, or in research and development assist -ing engineers and scientists to develop, manufacture, evaluate, apply and market plastic products. earnings According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook , median hourly wages of model makers in the plastics industry were $19.55 in May 2008. Machine tool setters, operators and tenders in the industry earned an average of $15.13 hourly. To learn more about the career of plastics technician and the education and training it requires, here are some places to turn. Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International International Association of Plastics Distribution National Association of Manufacturers Plastics Technology Online Society of Plastics Engineers Society of the Plastics Industry The Workplace Although plastics technicians involved in research and development work in labs, and some are employed in sales and service, many work in a manufacturing setting. According to the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), there are nearly 18,500 plastics facilities in the United States. Job Outlook Although the Department of Labor does not project significant growth in the industry over the next decade, a surge in retirements will mean opportunities are available—especially for those with technical degrees and certifications. According to SPI, the U.S. plastics industry currently employs more than 1.1 million workers and has a presence in every state. educational requirements Certificate and associate degree programs in plastics technology are offered at some 60 Techniques Februar y 2011

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