Plastics Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are interested in a career as a plastics technician, you will need a high school diploma. You should also take vo-tech, drafting, and other classes that involve you directly with design and manufacturing. Computer science classes are also important to future plastics technician work.

Postsecondary Training

For a career as a plastics engineering technician, you should investigate programs offered by community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational-technical schools. Many employers prefer to hire technicians with the minimum of an associate's degree or a certificate from a vocational-technical school. Some schools include plastics courses as part of mechanical or chemical technicians programs. Another training option is to participate in apprenticeship programs or in-plant training programs while earning a degree. Many companies operate on a three-shift basis; hours can be arranged around class schedules. As part of the learning experience, it is possible to participate in cooperative education or work-study programs. This is a joint venture between the school and the industry where you can work a limited number of hours per month and often receive college credit.

Students who plan to enter the military should investigate branches of service that offer training in plastics. The United States Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army publish procurement specifications, operate repair facilities, and carry on their own research and development.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Currently, licensing requirements or certification programs do not exist for plastics technicians.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Plastics technicians should have good communications skills since they must interact with a variety of coworkers including various engineers, chemists, supervisors, designers, estimators, and other technicians. You must be able to follow both oral and written instructions in order to be able to create a product according to precise specifications and demands. Strong mathematical skills are essential for the analysis, design, and troubleshooting aspects of their work.