To get a real-world feel for our observations on technologist occupations made in previous posts, Blue Mirror Insights took a two-week snapshot of online technologist job postings across engineering and manufacturing sectors in October 2019.  Our research took in jobsites like Indeed (US/UK), Totaljobs (US/UK), Reed (UK) and LinkedIn (US/UK).

Indeed was typical of our results[1].  In the Engineering sector, we found that in both the US and UK Indeed posted one technologist job for around every 170 engineer jobs.  The ratio of technologist to technician jobs was also similar in the US and UK, around 1:26.

In the manufacturing sector, though, the ratios were more varied, with technologists to engineers in the US being 1:104 but in the UK being 1:26.  The technologist to technician ratio was even more noteworthy – 1:72 in the US and 1:7 in the UK.

So where are the technologist jobs?

In both the US and the UK, two broad sectors in particular stand out as having a high demand for technologists.  In life sciences & medical sectors, technologist roles are advertised in R&D, clinical labs, biomedical engineering, electro-optics and radiotherapy physics.  In FMCG sectors, technologists are sought in food, garment, packaging, product and process development, materials and quality.  In other sectors, we see technologist roles in architecture, fuels and chemical treatment systems.

Perhaps as a reflection of job content, life science and medical sectors more often than not look for science bachelor’s degrees from their candidates, while FMCG looks primarily for technical qualifications, or in some cases a degree in a related discipline such as food science or garment manufacturing.  Importantly though, both sectors look for candidates with technical environment experience, 2 years being the typical minimum.

Common activities across the sectors included new product design and development, QA, process improvement and project management.  Involvement in innovation – either directly via design/development tasks or in absorption via implementation/deployment – is also a common theme, and we’re investigating this further to report in a future post.

What do we conclude? Our initial observation, as posted here, was that the occupational group increasingly referred to ‘technologists’ and well-recognised in countries like the US and Canada should be similarly recognised in the UK in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and in areas like education and professional recognition.  We feel our dip into the online jobs market tends to support this observation.


[1] Search based on job title key words ’engineer’ and ‘technologist’.