The specific job requirements of a manufacturing technician may vary greatly depending the type of products created or research being performed at a company. Often, this term is linked to work in biotechnology. Tech jobs are by no means limited to the biotechnological field. There are manufacturing technician jobs in many fields and this diversity accounts for the potential plethora of responsibilities a technician might have.
In a general sense, the manufacturing technician may implement processes to help create products or test materials. They usually do this under the supervision of an engineer, though this supervision doesn’t have to be direct. Instead, the engineer may design the process, make sure the technician knows how to follow all instructions to complete it, and then only check in as materials or results are produced.
In order to be able to complete a process, the manufacturing technician is skilled at reading technical instructions and is able to do things like operate highly sophisticated machinery. He/she may also be able to complete some processes with quality inspection, though inspection may be assigned to other workers. A job might have many components ranging from inputting data into complex machinery, and evaluating any components while processes are applied to them, to more physical aspects like loading/unloading equipment from machines.
Sometimes companies have a manufacturing technician hierarchy, where more experienced workers are ranked: Technician I, II, and III, etc. Lower rankings may suggest less experience. The way rank is determined is usually by experience, but in some companies, unless huge amounts of experience exist, there is also the expectation that higher ranked techs will have completed a certain amount of school. Usually this means having an Associate of Arts degree (AA) or at least having studied calculus and physics.
There are many companies that do no hire employees for manufacturing jobs unless they possess an AA. Other companies don’t rank and aren’t that interested in educational background, provided an employee demonstrates understanding in the type of work being performed. The AA can be useful, since many technicians continue studies in either physics or engineering, enabling them to move up in their companies.
As stated, the work environment of the manufacturing technician may be variable. There are many of these jobs in the biotechnology industry. For instance, techs might be responsible for producing stents that are placed in blood vessels to keep them open. Another area where manufacturing technician jobs can be available is in optical coating, where special coatings are applied to things like computer screens, fiber optics components and other equipment. Many additional areas of technological work may employ manufacturing techs.
Like job requirements, remuneration is varied. Some techs belong to unions, guaranteeing a certain salary level, while other techs work for start-up companies operating on a shoestring budget or companies that are struggling to stay afloat in difficult financial times. This suggests a salary range of under $10 US Dollars (USD) to above $20 USD for the most experienced workers.