A colour technologist is in charge of colour application in the manufacturing industry. They’re involved in producing colours (technically, pigments and dyes) for food items, automobiles, paper, and any other product that needs a bit of spicing up aesthetically.
As a colour technologist, you are involved in checking the technology used to produce dye and pigments, and producing particular shades of colour as specified by the client.
In some cases, colour technologists are even involved in the study of how people perceive colour. After all, colour – and every other visual element – is merely a manifestation of how the eyes perceive it.
Different colours provoke a whole spectrum of emotions, and manufacturers are deeply concerned with how the colours of their products will make consumers really feel. Brace yourself, then, because this industry can get pretty damn deep.
Salary & benefits
Graduate colour technologists can earn £26,000 a year, although this can increase or decrease depending on your work experience and your degree (applicants with a degree that focused on colour technology will get a bigger salary offer).
Clearly, this is a good option if you’re looking to scramble out of your student debt – a good way to go from red to black, as it were. Senior technologists can get as much as £60,000, proving that this career path is one for those with a taste for green, if you know what we mean...
Although the work is your typical nine-to-five job, overtime work is common, especially when there are special orders and deadlines to meet. The actual working hours largely depend on the field of your area of specialisation.
Colour technologists will work immensely on the manufacturing side. The work environment can be busy and noisy, especially during manufacturing periods, so this isn’t a job for you if harsh factory environments get you feeling blue.
Colour technologists need a degree in science or engineering. A background in colour science, manufacturing and process engineering, analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, or textile technology and colouration will prove hugely beneficial.
Take note that some universities actually offer degrees in colour technology and colour science. Chemistry and chemical engineering may also tackle colour science. Remember this when applying for a colour technologist job; you are at a disadvantage if your undergraduate degree did not tackle this specific area.
In general, however, you will need a good vision for colour; those with flawed vision cannot work in this industry. You will need this for colour matching and colour shading, tasks that require you to visually assess the colours and products that you make.
Training & progression
Most employers require new hires to undergo a formal induction or training scheme, which can last for more than a year. Besides this, technical training must also be undertaken, although this is largely work-based.
Many experienced and senior colour technologists get promoted to department managers, the specifics of which depend on their specialisation.
Once again, this field is quite technical, and your salary will depend on your credentials and work experience. Therefore, make sure you gain technical, professional, and academic credentials as you go on in your career in order to get the deserved promotion and find the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.