you ever tried to make a sandwich when other people are working
in the kitchen? The bread is not where it is supposed to be, the
knife is in use and you bonk your head on the cupboard door that
someone left open. On top of that, everyone is bumping into each
At a busy worksite where potentially dangerous machinery is in
use, it is even more important to make sure that the flow of work
is logical, efficient and safe. Analyzing production problems is
part of the job of an industrial technologist or technician.
As an industrial technologist or technician, you study the efficient
use of personnel, materials and machines in factories, stores, repair
shops and offices. You prepare layouts of machinery and equipment,
plan the flow of work, make statistical studies and analyze production
You might specialize in computer applications, fire protection,
industrial engineering, manufacturing technology, occupational health
and safety, operations management, quality assurance, wood products
manufacturing or process piping.
Industrial engineering is the only major branch of engineering
concerned with people as well as things. This field combines engineering
with management training and is geared to producing experts in the
development of effective, organized work systems which are both
people-oriented and cost-conscious.
Industrial technologists and technicians are involved at all levels
of the organization, and help ensure that products are manufactured
or services are provided in economical and efficient ways.
The following examples are duties that industrial technologists
are qualified to perform.Technicians assist with these duties:
- Examining the overall production process to ensure effectiveness
of the organization
- Introducing efficiency measures as part of quality assurance
- Developing ways to improve productivity and job satisfaction
- Checking materials-handling methods and suggesting changes to
reduce physical effort and handling costs, and promote safety
- Analyzing production problems associated with supply of components,
materials or personnel
- Designing new systems and improving existing systems concerned
with the distribution of products and services, inventory and
- Drawing up layouts of buildings, machines and equipment, and
supervise construction projects
- Developing and implementing industrial health, safety and fire
prevention plans and programs as well as safety training programs
- Developing computer applications for the control of robots,
numerical control machines, manufacturing processes and operations
Where Will You Work?
As an industrial technologist or technician, you might find yourself
working in factories, industrial plants, warehouses, power stations,
mills, testing laboratories, consulting and industrial firms,
insurance companies, banks, railroads, airlines, hospitals or
You work regular hours in offices and research labs, and on production
floors. Because this discipline analyzes the effectiveness of
work teams, as well as processes, you interact with many people
on a regular basis. You use a computer to simulate production
and service processes, and for word processing and spreadsheet
functions. Travel may be required to attend conventions and training
How Much Will You Earn?
How Does the Future Look?
The outlook is above average compared with other occupations.
Complex industrial technologies and automation processes, the
increasing cost of labour and manufacturing, and a growing emphasis
on the application of scientific principles to management practices
are expected to continue fueling a demand for industrial technologists
and technicians. Growth in research and development areas may
also result in increased employment opportunities.
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in English, mathematics,
chemistry and physics.
Post secondary options are listed on the reverse side… industrial
What Will You Need?
To pursue this career you should enjoy working with people, data,
machines, instruments, details and concepts, finding innovative
solutions for problems, analyzing information, being methodical
and directing others.
You need an aptitude for mathematics and science, and a desire
to be thorough and accurate. You must have excellent communication
skills, patience and an understanding of human behaviour. You
should enjoy working on your own as well as on a team.
Post Secondary Possibilities
Wood Products Manufacturing
- Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science
Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check
www.asttbc.org for updates
on accredited programs.
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other
sources of information applicable to education options for this
- Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.
- The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and
provides links to career information that will be of interest
to students pursuing a career in technology.