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Emerging Occupations

Nanotechnologist

In general, nanotechnologists operate specialized technical equipment to analyze, manipulate and fabricate nanoscale objects.

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Duties
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Nanotechnologists study and manipulate atoms, molecules, proteins and cells that range in size from 1 to 100 nanometres (nm). A nanometre is 1 billionth of a metre (or 0.000000001 m). Nanotechnology has applications across many industries, products and processes. Nanotechnology may be used when developing systems within the areas of energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles, cosmetics, foods, telecommunications and automotives. Nanotechnologists' duties therefore vary greatly from 1 employer to another. In general, they work under the supervision of engineers to:

  • design or conduct experiments in collaboration with scientists or engineers to develop nanotechnology-based materials, components, devices or systems
  • implement new or enhanced methods and processes for processing, testing or manufacturing nanotechnology materials or products
  • inspect or measure thin films (for example, coatings made of carbon nanotubes, polymers or inorganic materials) using a variety of techniques and analytical tools
  • collect and compile nanotechnology research and engineering data
  • develop or modify wet chemical or industrial laboratory experimental techniques for nanoscale use (for example, measuring, mixing, weighing liquid chemicals)
  • prepare capability data, training materials or other documentation to transfer processes to production
  • prepare detailed verbal or written presentations for scientists, engineers, project managers or upper management
  • produce images and measurements, using tools and techniques such as atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy and electrical, mechanical and optical analysis techniques
  • contribute written material or data for grant or patent applications
  • install nanotechnology production equipment at customer or manufacturing sites.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Nanotechnologists work regular hours in offices, plants, laboratories or a combination of these settings. They may be required to lift equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Nanotechnologists often are members of teams working on particular projects. The intense concentration required and the pressure of deadlines can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Nanotechnologists need the following characteristics:

  • an aptitude for and interest in mathematics and science
  • patience and persistence combined with good time management skills
  • analytical and technical problem solving skills
  • fine motor skills and good hand-eye co-ordination
  • the ability to work with a variety of people in a team
  • the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
  • a willingness to continuously update their education.

They should enjoy using instruments and equipment to perform tasks requiring precision, analyzing data and performing calculations to solve problems, and taking a methodical approach to their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Most emerging occupations develop from more than 1 occupation, so nanotechnologists may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Prior to enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

The minimum education requirement for nanotechnologists is a related 2-year diploma of technology.

An interest in and an aptitude for the sciences is a definite asset.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Certified Engineering Technologist

Certified engineering technologists (CETs) apply industry-recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices to solve problems within their technological areas of expertise. Depending on their duties supervision by a Professional Engineer / Geoscientist or Professional Technologist (Engineering / Geoscience) may be required.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and ASET Regulation [pdf], you must be a registered member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of:

  • an applied science, engineering or information technology program accredited at the technologist level by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) or equivalent
  • at least 2 years of acceptable technical experience
  • 3 professional references
  • completion of a competency report
  • successful completion of ASET’s Professional Practice Exam.

Other requirements may include:

  • ASET certification exam
  • proficiency in English
  • proof of legal entitlement to work in Canada.

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact ASET.

Working in Alberta

Certified engineering technologists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory body in another province may transfer to Alberta as a Certified Engineering Technologist or Applied Science Technologist if the two jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the ASET website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process [pdf] and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process [pdf] on the Opportunity Alberta website.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600, 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C6
Canada

Call: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practise independently in accordance with established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering and geoscience. They have the authority to sign off and stamp work within a prescribed scope of practice.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and Professional Technologists Regulation [pdf], you must be registered as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering or geoscience within a prescribed scope of practice, or to use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience) or the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.).

What You Need

To register as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience), you must have:

  • A designation as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) in good standing
  • At least 6 years of work experience in areas that relate to engineering or geoscience, with at least 2 years under the supervision and control of an Alberta Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the your proposed area and scope of practice
  • At least 2 years of post-secondary education in areas that relate to your proposed area and scope of practice
  • At least 4 years of experience under the supervision and control of an Alberta Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist or at least 10 years of experience if your post-secondary education does not match your proposed area and scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • Proof of compliance with ASET’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • Successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam

Other requirements may include:

  • ASET Certification Exam
  • Demonstration of proficiency in English
  • Proof of legal entitlement to work in Canada

For detailed, official information, contact ASET.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists with a license to practice engineering or geoscience are currently only recognized in Alberta. They may be eligible for a limited licence with engineering regulatory organizations in other jurisdictions. Information on obtaining a limited licence is available through the regulatory organizations.

Registered professional technologists in Alberta may transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist or Applied Science Technologist by completing the process set by the local provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the ASET website.

Contact Details

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600, 9888 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Canada

Call: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, alternate sources of energy)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for nanotechnologists is unknown.

Nanotechnologists may be employed by:

  • post-secondary schools
  • research institutes
  • manufacturing companies (for example, biotechnology and medical devices, plastic products)
  • energy services.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.
Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current salary data is available for this occupation.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta - ASET website: www.aset.ab.ca

National Institute for Nanotechnology website: www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/nint.html

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 23, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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