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Occupational Profile
Emerging Occupations

Nanotechnologist

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances. In general, nanotechnologists operate specialized technical equipment to analyze, manipulate and fabricate nanoscale objects.

  • 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.

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

Under the supervision of a professional engineer or professional technologist in engineering, certified engineering technologists undertake the routine application of industry recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices. They use established engineering, geoscience or applied science principles and methods of problem solving. Duties may include design, production, marketing, testing, quality control, estimating, surveying, inspecting, diagnostic evaluation, supervision, management and technical sales.

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.

Education

Registration requires:

  • successful completion of an applied science, engineering or information technology program accredited at the technologist level by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), 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
  • demonstration of proficiency in English.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Engineering technologists who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified engineering technologists in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) on AlbertaCanada.com.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 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, geology and geophysics, and 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, geology or geophysics 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.).

Education

Registration requires:

  • 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 a Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the applicant's proposed area and scope of practice
  • at least 2 years of post-secondary education or 10 years of experience that matches the proposed scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • proof of compliance with ASET's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • proficiency in English
  • successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists 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.

A professional technologist may also transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist by completing a transfer form and paying the associated transfer fee. Transfer forms are provided by the provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

Contact Details

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

For more information, see ASET's annual salary survey.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
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, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works 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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