Advice on Becoming Formulator

Hello Everyone,

I have been browsing on this site for awhile, but this is my first post. Since there are so many experienced people in this forum, I was hoping I could get some advice on becoming a formulator.

I am currently working at a cosmetic manufacturing company as a R&D project manager assistant. I originally applied as a chemist. During working here, I had the opportunity to work on chemist-related activities, such as inputting formula into system for pricing, requesting RM, pre-weighing, lab batching (basic placebo creams), stability/spec, generating QQ and IL, etc. I also have been studying textbooks and raw materials for my own reference.

I inquired my supervisor the possibility of transferring as a junior chemist, but he offered me a technician job instead, mentioning that the regular process is to work as a technician -> junior chemist -> chemist -> senior chemist, but I was told that by one of our senior chemist that the requirements for technician is usually high school diploma with no experience necessary (I graduated with BS).

What are your opinions? Is it normal process to start as a technician? Or should I try to look elsewhere? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited June 2016
    it depends on what kind of company you work for, and how much lab work the chemist's job involves

    if the role is largely lab-based, then yes, it is a normal and sensible approach to start as a technician; when it comes to learning how materials and formulas work, nothing beats actual hands-on experience, and it is the kind of experience you can only get in the workplace
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Thank you for your input. I am a little worried though, as I heard that technician only create batches given with little to no formulation so there is very little room for self-growth and I also heard that it is very difficult to get promoted from a technician title (or very slow). Since being a chemist or a technician both provides hands-on experience, do you think it might be more advantageous for me to look for a junior chemist position at a different company (faster opportunity for development, more various formulations, etc) or accept the technician position (if other companies will most likely only offer technician position anyways)
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    based on what you've said in the other thread, I reckon it'd be better for you to seek opportunities at another company
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Do you think other companies would be willing to hire a person with no formal chemist experience? Because our company is always short of people, I did get to experience a variety of chemist-related experience, but I feel like it would be largely dependent on how I market myself.
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