Aerosol manufacturing brings together a huge range of career opportunities. Employers range from small consulting companies to multinational corporations.
Making cans and valves is a high speed precision engineering business and filling them is a high speed chemical engineering business.
Careers start at apprentice level and graduate level. Larger employers have valuable training schemes for apprentices, graduate engineers and business management.
Chemists design and test ingredients. There are many ingredients in aerosol sprays and chemists need to understand how they mix or react.
For more on chemistry careers try this website. http://www.rsc.org/careers-jobs/
Chemical engineers understand the processes of mixing and reacting chemicals on a large scale.
For more on chemical engineering careers try this website: http://www.whynotchemeng.com/
Aerosol plants have some of the highest value equipment in industry. This needs planned maintenance, monitoring and testing. Electronics and electrical engineers are in high demand all over the world.
For more on electrical engineering careers try this website: http://www.theiet.org
More about engineering careers
For more information on engineering careers try these websites.
Graduate entry case study
Curiosity is the key to unlock a career in Aerosol Technical Management
When Christina Jenkyns completed her Biological Sciences Degree at Plymouth University, she knew she wanted to work in a scientific discipline – but didn’t quite know where. After a short stint working for the National Rivers Authority she responded to an advertisement in her local paper in Somerset, to work as a laboratory technician for Swallowfield, a member of the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA).
Christina didn’t quite know what to expect from the role, however, she soon realised that she loved everything about the job.
“Even though I was scientifically trained, I had no idea about a career in the aerosol sector when I first qualified. Most existing higher education courses concentrate on cosmetic science and aerosols are only a small part of those courses.”
Christina explains that Swallowfield’s aerosol department works with high street retailers offering help, direction and support for its customers’ brand aspirations. Christina’s role as a laboratory technician involved carrying out stability tests, user trials, fragrance tests, laboratory reports and other scientific tasks that contributed towards new product development.
After ten years Christina moved to Reabrook Ltd, also a prominent member of BAMA, specialising in formulations, manufacturing and contract filling of aerosol and liquid products for private label customers.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the job requirements. I was so pleased to find something that looked perfect for me – although it did take me out of my comfort zone as I would be working with not just cosmetic products but more industrial, household and automotive ranges too.”
“One of the key requirements besides organisation for my job is curiosity,” she explains. “To develop a product from concept to shelf takes patience, as it rarely comes out right the first time, accuracy, and the ability to absorb a mountain of information and regulations is also key. This is where BAMA is so helpful, with their wide range of training courses and keeping us abreast of all the new technical regulations in particular.”
The aerosol sector is a specialised field, but Christina goes on to explain how those in the industry are really helpful to share their knowledge and experience. She particularly enjoys working with a variety of disciplines, such as valve producers, aerosol fillers, marketers, producers of component parts, machinery and ingredient suppliers and of course Reabrook’s clients who include; Superdrug, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Numark.
Christina finds her role very challenging, yet satisfying as she co-ordinates and liaises with a range of external and internal audiences whilst having to keep up to date with industry legislation. “I get quite emotional when I see a new product coming off the line, when I have been involved at concept stage. It gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. I have also been known to jump up and down with excitement when I see a product in-store that I’ve worked on.”
Careers Advice for other female graduates looking to get into the Sector
Christina Jenkyns answers key questions
Why is a Technical Manager in the industry a good job for women?
It uses multitasking and good organisational skills It also helps to even up the balance of men to women that I still think exists in higher management in the aerosol industry.
This job is highly customer facing, as we have close liaison with our customers who are mainly large retailers. This brings us into contact with technical people and buyers in the retail sector, and women are often very skilled in the “softer” people-skills that are required.
What are the opportunities for career development?
Unfortunately for the companies involved, there are always people moving onto pastures new or retiring from the industry and I think that unless people develop and grow their roles within this sector, there will be some large losses of information, wisdom and experience. Clearly this offers opportunities for advancement.
Are you able to encourage other graduates/women into the sector?
Yes, very much so. Reabrook offer placements to students and graduates as part of their placement year or as apprentices which provides opportunities across all product sectors that Reabrook manufacture, not just Health & Beauty.
Do you think women have a particular feel for this work as heavy personal care users or buyers?
Not necessarily, but I guess that having first-hand experience of using some of the products would be an advantage. There are plenty of men who have skincare regimes and use these products - we manufacture plenty of male grooming products such as body sprays, shower gels and shaving preps.
It is true that there are a large number of women working in key positions within the retailers, and of course this also offers good career opportunities.
Are you ‘rare’ in a ‘man’s’ world or are there lots of female scientists
I sometimes feel in the minority when I attend conferences and seminars where women seem to be outnumbered by the men. I am encouraged by the number of young women who are coming through from school and University who are showing an interest in the sector.
CROWN Aerosols UK’s New Apprenticeship Scheme
“Re-engineering our Future"
When I first started my apprenticeship there was a lot of new information to a take in because it was a totally different job compared to what I had previously done.
I started off in the tool room where i learnt basic bench fitting techniques and then progressed onto using lathes, millers and other machinery that I would need to use on a daily basis in months to come.
Now starting the third year of my apprenticeship my skills have improved dramatically and my confidence in doing jobs has also grown throughout, this is all thanks to the great training I have received from my training mentor as well as other engineers throughout the company.
When I first applied for a job as an apprentice Engineer, I was still unsure about what career path I wanted to take. As I settled into the job, I found myself enjoying the work more and more often. By the end of the first year I was confident in the fact that engineering was where I wanted to be. A big part of this was down to my training co-originator and other engineers who taught me a great deal about production engineering. Through my training I have gained a great deal of confidence in my work which I try to improve on a daily basis.
Three years down the line I can not see myself in any other career. My job is a big part of my life and I am happy that I have chosen to work in an area which will allow me to develop my career.
“Myself, I have worked at our Sutton plant for the last 19 years and have seen many apprentices pass through our scheme. Over the last few years I have seen an unsurpassable apprentice scheme develop and grow into what I believe as a World Class apprenticeship scheme. From my previous role working as a Machine Setter operator in our Canline department, I was really happy to have been successful in securing an adult apprenticeship within the company. I am also very honoured to have a skilled and dedicated Mentor such Terry Reeves. I have now near on completed my apprenticeship and I am looking forward to putting my skills and knowledge gained into action.”
“When I was asked to take on the role as the Apprentice Mentor, I thought this would be a good opportunity to pass on my skills and knowledge that I have gained over the year’s tool making and working at Crown.
I completed an A’1 assessors course – This gave me a good insight to all aspects of the NVQ and what is required from it, from both levels 2 and 3.
All apprentices have to achieve this, in order to complete their training. In my opinion, I consider the training scheme at Crown, Sutton-in-Ashfield, is much more like the apprenticeship that I received and I consider this a very helpful for new apprentices."
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