Polymer Technologist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | July 7, 2024
Polymer Technologist Job Description
Polymer technologists research, develop, and manufacture plastic and polymer materials.

This post provides detailed information on the polymer technologist job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may need to meet to be hired for the polymer technologist role by most employers/recruiters.

What Does a Polymer Technologist Do?

A polymer technologist specializes in the research, development, and manufacturing processes for plastic and polymer materials.

According to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Polymer technologists can work in the manufacturing industry producing various items, including molded plastic products, tires, and paints.

They are usually found in the technical departments of manufacturing firms, where they help with the design and formulation of materials to produce items of polymer.

Polymer technologists typically report to a head of R&D, engineering manager, or production manager and work closely with teams of scientists and engineers.

Common work environments include university and corporate research labs, chemical plants, and major manufacturing facilities in industries like automotive and aerospace.

A Bachelor’s degree in polymer science, chemical engineering or materials science is required at minimum, with many companies preferring or requiring advanced degrees.

The core duties that make up the polymer technologist job description include designing polymer formulations, analyzing plastics’ structures and properties, supporting scale-up and manufacturing, and troubleshooting production issues.

Polymer Technologists also ensure regulatory compliance around testing, labeling, safety, and environmental standards.

Critical soft skills like collaboration, communication, and project management allow them to coordinate across cross-functional teams.

Their innovations help improve products across countless material applications in fields ranging from medical devices to green technologies.

Polymer technologists draw on a strong foundation in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Technical capabilities like modeling and data analysis are also critical to success in this role.

While the work can be technically challenging, polymer technologists get the reward of seeing their formulations and optimizations materialize into final products that impact lives. From lightweight body panels boosting fuel efficiency to flexible electronics and medical devices, plastics will only grow in importance across industries.

That bright future relies on the continued ingenuity of talented polymer scientists to enhance performance while addressing environmental concerns.

For those interested in chemistry, materials science, and real-world applications of science, a career as a polymer technologist offers an excellent path forward.

Polymer Technologists Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The polymer technologist job description typically consists of the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:

  • Conceptualize and test new polymer formulations for specific applications
  • Utilize modeling software to predict polymer properties under various conditions
  • Design polymers and composites for enhanced strength, flexibility, durability etc.
  • Manipulate polymerization reactions through catalyst and temperature changes
  • Evaluate properties like viscosity, bonding, crystallinity, glass transition temperature
  • Develop scalable processes from lab bench to production floor
  • Perform failure mode analysis on plastic parts and products
  • Identify root causes of fabrication defects through methods like microscopy or spectroscopy
  • Quantitatively measure factors like absorption, decomposition rates, or crack propagation
  • Validate quality assurance and control standards and specifications
  • Review manufacturing processes for efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainability gains 
  • Ensure developed products meet regulatory standards for safety, labeling requirements, etc. 
  • Compile data and documentation for submission to supervisory agencies
  • Demonstrate material performance claims through standardized industry testing
  • Register new polymer formulations to expand business opportunities and IP assets 
  • Identify optimizations of plastic manufacturing machinery for throughput and quality gains  
  • Troubleshoot equipment issues and down-time events on the production floor
  • Communicate scale-up procedures from lab bench to factory floor
  • Train personnel on new materials and proper equipment procedures
  • Respond to customer inquiries or complaints regarding off-spec product 
  • Lead a research team focused on polymer applications for a specific industry 
  • Mentor junior scientists and technicians on experimental methods and project execution 
  • Publish findings in industry journals and apply for patents when viable
  • Present research conclusions and production recommendations to stakeholders 
  • Consult with cross-functional partners like marketing, finance, and legal on project viability.

Polymer Technologist Job Description for Resume

If you have worked before as a polymer technologist or are presently working in that role and are making a new resume or CV, then you can craft a compelling Professional Experience section for your resume by applying the sample polymer technologist job description provided above.

You can highlight the major duties and responsibilities you have performed or are currently carrying out as a polymer technologist in your resume’s Professional Experience by utilizing the ones in the above polymer technologist job description example.

This will show that you have been successful in performing the polymer technologist duties, which can greatly enhance your chances of being hired for the new position that you are seeking, especially if it requires someone with some polymer technologist work experience.

Polymer Technologist Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

To effectively perform the responsibilities of a polymer technologist, individuals should possess the following skills, knowledge, abilities, etc. which are also required by most recruiters/employers when hiring for the role:

  • In-depth understanding of polymer and organic chemistry principles
  • Running equipment like extruders, injection molders, mixers and so on
  • Staying up on regulations for testing, safety, labeling, eco impacts. Can’t cut corners there!
  • Using analysis gear like spectrometers, thermal analyzers, microscopes
  • Building data-driven models with diff software. Math and coding skills help big time
  • Solving problems creatively when things go sideways 
  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) tools
  • Having an eagle eye for details and documentation
  • Visualizing material properties from the molecular level to bulk 
  • Steady hands for handling small lab equipment
  • Collaborating with cross-functional teammates
  • Juggling multiple projects and priorities 
  • Explaining complex conceptual stuff clearly in writing and presentations.

Some critical soft skills are leading projects, managing teams, decision making, and constantly learning as technologies advance.

With this sweet blend of abilities, polymer techs can drive innovation and deliver value across product development.

Their work improves performance, quality, and sustainability in a ton of industrial processes and material applications. Pretty awesome!

Materials Scientists Employment

Polymer technologists are actually materials scientists who are specialized in polymer.

In the United States, there were 8,810 materials scientists in employment in 2023 according to data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The States where materials scientists were in the highest employment included:

  • New Jersey, 1,080
  • California, 790
  • New York, 660
  • Illinois, 580
  • Massachusetts, 550.

Industries that hired the highest number of materials scientists, according to the 2023 survey data included: scientific research and development services and colleges, universities, and professional schools, with 2,860 and 730 employments respectively.

Materials Scientist Salary

According to June, 2024 salary data from Zippia, the materials scientist’s salary in the United States is averagely $84,459 per year.

The States that pay the highest salaries include: Nevada ($109,501) and California ($98,390).


Working closely with the materials that enable so many of our modern products and technologies, polymer technologists play an integral yet often overlooked role.

This article is useful to individuals interested in the polymer technologist career.

They will be able to learn all they need to know about the polymer technologist duties and responsibilities to decide if working as a polymer technologist is what they want to do. It is also helpful to recruiters/employers in making a detailed job description for the polymer technologist role for use in hiring competent individuals for the position.