Textile technologists work to develop or improve textile products and also oversee the general manufacturing process. In order to become a textile technologist, you must be very detail-oriented and possess good analytical skills. A bachelor’s degree in science is the minimum educational requirement for this career, but some employers may require completion of a master’s degree before hiring. After you become a textile technologist, employment can usually be found with various private companies or government agencies. These professionals usually divide their working hours between scientific laboratories and manufacturing facilities.
There are several important personal skills needed for this career. Excellent analytical abilities are required to perform laboratory experiments and draw conclusions from the results, and you must also be a detail-oriented person to oversee the entire product-development and manufacturing process. In addition to these qualities, you should possess a certain amount of artistic and creative ability to improve and develop various textile colors, weaves, and textures. Good computer skills are also needed to work with the specialized design software utilized in this industry. You must also possess very good communications skills to effectively collaborate with design teams, management, and production workers.
Certain educational requirements must also be met before you become a textile technologist. Preparation for this career should probably begin during high school by completing coursework in subjects such as physics, chemistry, and advanced mathematics. You will also need to earn a bachelor’s degree in science to qualify for this profession. Courses in mathematics, computer science, and physics as well as chemistry and technology should be taken during college. Some prospective employers may require you to have a master’s degree in textile technology.
After completing your formal education, employment can typically be found in the both the public and private sectors. These professionals typically work for large manufacturing firms that produce traditional items such as clothing, carpets, and home furnishings. Others work for manufacturers of industrial belts, tires, or surgical supplies. You may also find employment with independent testing and development laboratories, or with governmental agencies that employ textile technologists for product safety testing.
Once you have become a textile technologist, you will probably spend most of your time working in a laboratory or overseeing manufacturing operations. Most of the laboratory work involves conducting various scientific tests and carefully recording your findings. The results of these tests are then analyzed to determine the overall viability of a new product or material. In addition to your laboratory work, you must also evaluate the performance and safety of various types of manufacturing equipment and schedule routine maintenance operations. You may also be required to present reports to company executives and instruct manufacturing personnel in production and safety procedures.