Specialty polymer manufacturers require similar education backgrounds to other forms of chemical manufacturing. The professional knowledge needed to work in natural or synthetic polymers is a Bachelor of Science in chemical or industrial engineering or another chemical-related field.
While chemical manufacture for a specific industry, such as pharmaceuticals or medicine, may require more specialized training, general chemistry knowledge and an engineering background are ideal specialty polymer manufacturers education and training. For an entry level position in manufacturing and custom compounding, less education is required.
To begin your specialty polymer manufacturers education and training, consider the following options:
- Get a degree in a chemical-related field for manufacturing or custom compounding.
- Obtain additional training from conferences and seminars in synthetic polymers.
- Learn about industry-specific standards that apply to you and your workplace.
Prepare to work with natural and synthetic polymers with a higher education credentialIn order to work as a high-level professional for a polymer manufacturer, a Bachelor of Science degree or higher in a chemical-related science or engineering field is necessary. Some specialty polymer suppliers must have a degree in a specific chemical or materials discipline, while others may need only a general chemistry or other science degree.
Penn State Materials Science and Engineering program offers a specific program for working with specialty polymers. The University of North Dakota allows students to obtain a degree in chemical, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering online through distance learning.
Learn from other specialty polymer suppliers and professionals through conferences and seminarsAnother way to obtain education and training in working with specialty polymers is to attend conferences and professional meetings. Science and engineering researchers, manufacturers and custom chemical formulators all contribute to the information offered by annual conferences and seminars of professional societies in the polymer industry.
Learn about the cutting edge of specialty polymers at annual conferences like those held by the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Polymer Processing Society. Many societies also have a professional or technical journal with the latest knowledge about specialty polymers.
Stay certified with industry standards in manufacturing and custom compoundingIf you work in specialty polymer formulation, you will also need to stay current on the industry standards for certification in your field. Specialty polymer suppliers can access current standards online, as well as provide online access for clients to view their certifications.
Stay current on the education and training required by industry standards for companies working with synthetic polymers. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have searchable databases by industry keyword that provide information on industry certifications.
- In addition to seeking professionals with advanced degrees, polymer manufacturing companies also hire people with experience and education in business, management and administrative areas. If you are interesting in working in the manufacturing industry but don't have a science or engineering background, consider these other potential avenues.