In Summary - Ceramics Technologist
Ceramics Technologists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Ceramics Technologist
Ceramics technologists work in the research, development, production and quality control of ceramics and ceramic products. They have a specialist scientific knowledge of inorganic, non-metallic materials. Ceramic materials are used in the manufacture of a wide range of products such as:
- pottery (tableware, washbasins and electrical insulation)
- building materials (bricks, tiles and drains)
- heat resistant materials for furnaces
- electrical and electronic components
Ceramic technologists research, analyse and test raw materials and ceramic products, to determine their structure, and chemical and physical properties. Structures are examined using microscopes and X-ray images.
The technologist selects and uses appropriate tests, to determine the ability of each ceramic product to withstand conditions such as high temperatures, mechanical stress and environmental erosion. Ceramics technologists also devise new, more accurate methods of testing.
In development work, technologists design new ceramic materials to meet certain requirements. Ceramics can be used to make electronic components, superconductors and human joint replacements (as well as the more traditional pottery and building materials). Ceramics technologists work to extend the range of uses further and, where necessary, develop new manufacturing processes and shaping tools.
In production and quality control, ceramics technologists are in direct contact with the manufacturing process. These technologists need to be knowledgeable about every stage of production. Stages include:
- the preparation of raw materials
- the selection of suitable heat treatment
- grinding or machining
They deal with problems that arise at any stage of the process and advice on ways of using new ceramics. They may also develop traditional methods to obtain certain results. Quality control work involves testing raw materials and finished products to make sure that they meet the required standards.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Press thumbs into centers of revolving clay to form hollows, and press on the inside and outside of emerging clay cylinders with hands and fingers, gradually raising and shaping clay to desired forms and sizes.
- Adjust wheel speeds according to the feel of the clay as pieces enlarge and walls become thinner.
- Mix and apply glazes, and load glazed pieces into kilns for firing.
- Position balls of clay in centers of potters' wheels, and start motors or pump treadles with feet to revolve wheels.
- Raise and shape clay into wares such as vases and pitchers, on revolving wheels, using hands, fingers, and thumbs.
- Prepare work for sale or exhibition, and maintain relationships with retail, pottery, art, and resource networks that can facilitate sale or exhibition of work.
- Smooth surfaces of finished pieces, using rubber scrapers and wet sponges.
- Design clay forms and molds, and decorations for forms.
- Move pieces from wheels so that they can dry.
- Pull wires through bases of articles and wheels in order to separate finished pieces.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interests - Ceramics Technologist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You should enjoy solving problems and making decisions. In some cases you may have to manage people, so you need to have good communication and management skills.
Entry Requirements - Ceramics Technologist
Pay & Salary - Ceramics Technologist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 54k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.