Analytical textile technologists use their knowledge of the technical properties of textile materials and their understanding of production techniques to:
As an analytical textile technologist, you could work in-house for a textile manufacturer, or as a consultant to a number of different clients, including manufacturers, legal institutions, retailers and consumers. Your tasks would typically include:
You would need to keep up to date with new design and production techniques, and advances in science.
Your working week will usually be around 37 hours, but can be longer if you are self-employed, depending on the amount of work you have and the deadlines you need to meet.
Most of your work will take place in a laboratory.
Starting salaries can be around £15,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £25,000 and around £35,000.
The technical textiles sector covers the following types of textiles:
Some of the world's leading technical textiles companies are based in the UK, producing, for example, clothing for NASA technicians and airbags for the major car manufacturers.
Most employers will prefer you to have a degree in textiles technology. Suitable courses include the following, which are offered at the University of Manchester:
BSc (Hons) Textile Technology (Business Management).
BSc (Hons) Textile Science and Technology.
You may also find a degree in a scientific or engineering subject useful.
You will have an advantage if you follow your degree with a postgraduate qualification in textiles technology, particularly if you have a non-textiles first degree.
Suitable postgraduate courses include:
MSc in Textile Technology University of Manchester.
MSc in Advanced Textile and Performance Clothing University of Leeds.
MSc in Textile Engineering University of Bolton.
Alternatively, you can complete training and postgraduate research in textiles at other universities, such as Heriot-Watt University and the University of Huddersfield.
You may be able to start in the industry as a technician, but you will need a degree or professional qualification to progress your career. A foundation degree will give you the opportunity for developing your career whilst working.
On-the-job learning is a crucial part of developing your technical knowledge and skills. Once you are working as an analytical textile technologist you will develop your existing skills and learn many new ones.
You could add to your on-the-job learning in a variety of ways, including:
Visit the TI and Textile Centre of Excellence websites for details of their courses.
You can also keep up to date with the latest developments and challenges faced by the textiles sector by reading the academic journals published by the TI, and attending TI events that bring together professionals, practitioners and academics working in the global textiles industry.
You could also join local societies, including the Bradford Textile Society and Huddersfield Textile Society.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
An analytical textile technologist needs:
You may have the opportunity to carry out research in association with universities that have a textiles specialism.
Progression can be more limited within smaller organisations. Relocating or moving employers may be necessary to progress further.
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