Measurement and control technician

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Dawn Hooper works for a major supplier of medical gases to the National Health Service, Scottish Health Service, Ambulance Service and veterinary and dental markets. Its products include medical oxygen and nitrous oxide – an anaesthetic gas (often called laughing gas) used in hospitals and dental surgeries.

What is your job title?

I am a 'Qualified Person' which is a legal term for the person responsible for ensuring patient safety. This is done by ensuring that medical gases made by Linde are of the required quality and comply with the licences that we hold to place them on the market.

How do you do this?

The company has two manufacturing and assembly sites and two storage, materials handling and distribution sites and I am responsible for the certification for all batches of medical gases despatched from these. All sites undergo regulatory government inspections and it is my job to ensure they are adequately prepared. For this work I need a good knowledge of all European and National legislation and relevant Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines.

What training have you received?

Lots. On the one year training course I was mentored by a Qualified Person and visited several pharmaceutical companies to see what they do and learn about making tablets, creams and liquids. Then I did other external courses and read loads of books.

What hours do you work?

Officially 37.5 per week, but quite often more, especially when travelling. There are very few jobs at this level that allow normal office hours.

Why did you choose to become a measurement and control technician?

I have always been interested in medical and industrial gases and as a chartered chemist, where I became involved in purification technology and contamination control. When the opportunity came to try and achieve Qualified Person status I took up the challenge.

What do you like best about your job?

I relish the opportunity to make a difference in the area in which I work.

What are the sills and qualities needed for the job?

Attention to detail is the most important. I also need negotiating skills when dealing with customers and the ability to put my opinions forward in a convincing manner.

Dawn's route to her career as a measurement and control technician

  • GCSEs.
  • A levels.
  • Degree in Chemistry.
  • CPD (Continuing Professional Development) to Qualified Person status.

Dawn's control technician tips

  • Keep your options open for as long as possible.
  • Experience different roles to find out what suits you.
  • Life is short, so make sure you enjoy what you do.

Measurement and control technician related jobs

  • Analytical chemist
  • Bacteriologist
  • Chemist
  • Manufacturing production manager
  • Manufacturing production planner
  • Quality control inspector

Salary of a measurement and control technician

  • Graduates in their first jobs are likely to be paid around £16,000 a year.
  • Once established this can rise to between £28,000 and £35,000.
  • Those with postgraduate qualifications could earn over £45,000.

HOw to become a measurement and control technician

  • A degree in chemistry or an accredited degree equivalent is essential. This may be obtained via university or by working through to NVQ/SVQ Level 5 as a trainee, or through an advanced apprenticeship to engineering technician level and beyond.
  • In industry, most chemists work in research and development. Employers include the chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, food, drink and consumer good industries, contract research organisations, food research associations, the oil, water, paper, electrical equipment, metals, chemicals and nuclear industries, and the whole spectrum of biotechnology industries.
  • Chemists also work in the public sector. Employers include universities and government research establishments. In the National Health Service, chemists work in hospitals, the Health Protection Agency and the Public Analytical Laboratory Service.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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