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Become A Chemical Laboratory Technician

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Working As A Chemical Laboratory Technician

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chemical Laboratory Technician Do

Chemical technicians use laboratory instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

Duties

Chemical technicians typically do the following:

  • Monitor chemical processes and test the quality of products to make sure that they meet standards and specifications
  • Set up and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Troubleshoot production problems or malfunctioning instruments
  • Prepare chemical solutions
  • Conduct chemical and physical experiments, tests, and analyses for a variety of purposes, including research and development
  • Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses
  • Prepare technical reports, graphs, and charts, and give presentations that summarize their results

Most chemical technicians work on teams. Typically, they are led by chemists or chemical engineers who direct their work and evaluate their results. For example, some chemical technicians help chemists and other scientists develop new medicines. Others help chemical engineers develop more efficient production processes.

Chemical technicians’ duties and titles often depend on where they work. The following are the two main types of chemical technicians:

Laboratory technicians typically help scientists conduct experiments and analyses. Often, they prepare chemical solutions, test products for quality and performance, and analyze compounds produced through complex chemical processes. Chemical laboratory technicians may analyze samples of air and water to monitor pollution levels. Laboratory technicians usually set up and maintain laboratory equipment and instruments.

Processing technicians monitor the quality of products and processes at chemical manufacturing facilities. For example, they adjust processing equipment to improve production efficiency and output. They also collect samples from production batches, which then are tested for impurities and other defects. In addition, processing technicians test product packaging to make sure that it is well designed, will hold up well, and will have a limited impact on the environment.

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How To Become A Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical technicians need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education for most jobs. Most chemical technicians also receive on-the-job training.

Education

For most jobs, chemical technicians need an associate’s degree in applied science or chemical technology or 2 years of postsecondary education.

Many technical and community colleges offer programs in applied sciences or chemical technology. Students typically take classes in mathematics, physics, and biology, in addition to chemistry courses. Coursework in statistics and computer science is also useful, because technicians routinely do data analysis and modeling.

One of the most important aspects of any degree program is laboratory time. Laboratory coursework provides students with hands-on experience in conducting experiments and using various instruments and techniques properly. Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs that help students gain employment experience while attending school.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Chemical technicians must be able to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust the equipment to ensure that experiments and processes are running properly and safely.

Analytical skills. Chemical technicians must be able to conduct scientific experiments with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Chemical technicians must explain their work to scientists and engineers, and to workers who may not have a technical background. They often write reports to communicate their results.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemical technicians reach their conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment.

Interpersonal skills. Chemical technicians must be able to work well with others as part of a team because they often work with scientists, engineers, and other technicians.

Observation skills. Chemical technicians must carefully monitor chemical experiments and processes. They must keep complete records of their work, including conditions, procedures, and results.

Time-management skills. Chemical technicians often work on multiple tasks and projects at the same time and must be able to prioritize their assignments.

Training

Most chemical technicians receive on-the-job training. Typically, experienced technicians teach new employees proper methods and procedures for conducting experiments and operating equipment. The length of training varies with the new employee’s level of experience and education and the industry the worker is employed in.

Advancement

Technicians who have a bachelor’s degree may advance to positions as chemical engineers or chemists. For more information, see the profiles on chemical engineers and chemists and materials scientists.

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Chemical Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Chemical Laboratory Technician
Chemist Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Chemist Analytical Chemist
Senior Chemist
7 Yearsyrs
Chemist Analytical Chemist Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Product Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Product Manager Owner
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Product Manager Sales Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Laboratory Technician Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Laboratory Technician Laboratory Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Laboratory Technician Laboratory Manager Quality Control Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Production Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineer Quality Engineer
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Supervisor Superintendent
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Production Manager
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Engineering Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Manufacturing Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Compliance Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Scientist Staff Scientist
Senior Associate Scientist
7 Yearsyrs
Microbiological Laboratory Technician Laboratory Technician Microbiologist
Senior Microbiologist
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Chemical Laboratory Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Chemical Analyst 3.1 years
Laboratory Analyst 2.9 years
Laboratory Chemist 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Chemical Laboratory Technician
Cashier 6.7%
Internship 5.2%
Chemist 4.3%
Technician 3.6%
Manager 2.9%
Top Careers After Chemical Laboratory Technician
Chemist 9.5%
Scientist 3.6%
Internship 3.2%
Technician 2.9%
Volunteer 2.7%

Do you work as a Chemical Laboratory Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$46,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Northwell Health
Highest Paying City
New Orleans, LA
Highest Paying State
Louisiana
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Chemical Laboratory Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chemical Laboratory Technician in the United States is $46,886 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Chemical Laboratory Technician?

Have you worked as a Chemical Laboratory Technician? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Chemical Laboratory Technician.

Top Skills for A Chemical Laboratory Technician

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Chemical Analysis
  3. PH Meter
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experienced with ordering various chemicals, lab equipment and maintaining inventory.
  • Performed chemical analysis and reported entry to ensure composition of finished potassium products.
  • Used HPLC, GC and pH Meter for raw material qualifications.
  • Conducted qualitative and quantitative analysis of solids, liquid and gaseous cosmetic raw materials.
  • Utilized analytical methods to attain proper specifications maintained by the company's exact standards.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Chemical Laboratory Technicians

  1. Louisiana
  2. Alaska
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Alabama
  5. New Jersey
  6. Delaware
  7. Texas
  8. Oklahoma
  9. New York
  10. Mississippi
  • (47 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (355 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (357 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)

Chemical Laboratory Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

54.0%

Female

36.2%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.0%

German

7.5%

Russian

7.5%

Arabic

5.0%

Portuguese

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Ukrainian

2.5%

Romanian

2.5%

Vietnamese

2.5%

Sinhala

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Mandarin

2.5%

Korean

2.5%
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Chemical Laboratory Technician Education

Schools

Bidwell Training Center Inc

8.5%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

6.6%

University of Memphis

5.7%

Florida State University

5.7%

University of Houston

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

University of South Florida

4.7%

Michigan State University

4.7%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.7%

University of Akron

4.7%

Portland State University

4.7%

University of Delaware

4.7%

Northern Illinois University

4.7%

Niagara County Community College

4.7%

Central State University

4.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.7%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Ohio University -

3.8%

University of North Dakota

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%
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Majors

Chemistry

25.1%

Biology

20.9%

Business

11.1%

Chemical Engineering

7.4%

Chemical Technology

5.9%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.7%

Education

2.7%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

2.7%

Environmental Science

2.2%

Nursing

2.0%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Management

1.5%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.5%

Biotechnology

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Microbiology

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.5%

Other

22.2%

Associate

14.1%

Masters

13.9%

Certificate

3.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.2%
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Top Chemical Laboratory Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Chemical Laboratory Technician Employers

Chemical Laboratory Technician Videos

Chemical Laboratory Technician at Bidwell Training Center

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Sophie H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

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