Even if you hated chemistry in high school, you have chemical processes to thank for many of your everyday conveniences. Process technicians, a specific type of chemical technician, oversee the production processes that provide gasoline for your car, energy to light and heat your home, even some of the food you eat, along with other products that use chemical processes. As of 2012, women made up nearly 30 percent of all chemical technicians, including process technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The duties of a process technician vary depending on the industry but include many of the same responsibilities.
Manage the Production Line
Depending on the company, you might do the physical mixing and measuring of chemicals to create the finished product or perform other chemical reactions that lead to the final goods. You operate the production machinery and make sure all the ingredients, chemicals or parts come together to create the finished product. The machinery you manage and oversee is typically computer-operated, so you need have a solid knowledge in computers and electronic equipment. Some process technicians test their product's packaging, making sure it will protect the product and is also safe for the environment.
Monitor Product Quality
As a process technician, you continually inspect the equipment, looking for any problems or ways to improve the equipment, to work more efficiently. Collecting samples from each batch of whatever your company is processing, you test the product, looking for any defects. You need to have a keen eye for detail and be extremely thorough when doing inspections to make sure you catch even the tiniest problem.
Maintain a Safe Environment
When working with food and drug products, youhave to follow the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration, ensuring the product is safe and effective. Along with FDA regulations, you make sure your company adheres to the rules of your state, as well as any regulatory organizations for your industry. You keep the work areas safe and free of hazards, instructing other staff members on workplace safety. After the process for creating a product is finished, you clean and sterilize the equipment, getting it ready to go for the next round of production.
Fulfill Other Responsibilities
You keep detailed records of all your inspections, as well as the daily output and processes. When new orders come in, you check the paperwork and coordinate with the customer to make sure you deliver what they want. When a piece of machinery breaks down or needs maintenance, youcoordinate repairs with a craft technician.
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.