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TechWORKS! Career Information Profiles


Have 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 other.

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 costs.

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 plant maintenance
  • 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 governments.

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 courses.

How Much Will You Earn?

Technologist: $64,500/yr

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 technology

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

Accredited Status
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 technology.
  • 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.


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