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Become A Chemical Technician

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Working As A Chemical Technician

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

  • Stressful

  • $49,720

    Average Salary

What Does A Chemical 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 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 Technician jobs

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Real Chemical Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chemical Technician Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 04, 2013 $72,000 -
$92,000
Chemical Technicians BASF Catalyst LLC Iselin, NJ Dec 22, 2009 $66,845
Chemical Technicians A4 Scientific Inc. The Woodlands, TX May 27, 2011 $62,754
Chemical Technicians Amgen Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA Mar 23, 2010 $62,640
Chemical Technicians General Research Laboratory, Inc. Gaithersburg, MD Nov 09, 2007 $61,901
Chemical Technicians SGS North America Inc. Fairfield, NJ Sep 03, 2010 $60,736
Chemical Technician Chantilly Biopharma LLC Chantilly, VA Aug 15, 2011 $60,000
Chemical Technician Chantilly Biopharma LLC Chantilly, VA Aug 20, 2011 $60,000
Chemical Technicians Wescor, Inc. Bothell, WA Dec 08, 2010 $59,144
Senior Chemical Technician Dimensional Merchandising Inc. Wharton, NJ Dec 26, 2013 $56,500
Chemical Technicians Bio-Pharm Inc. Levittown, PA Dec 30, 2011 $56,000
Chemical Technicians Bio-Pharm Inc. Levittown, PA Dec 23, 2011 $56,000
Chemical Technicians Bio-Pharm Inc. Levittown, PA Jan 05, 2012 $56,000
Chemical Technicians Medimmune, LLC Gaithersburg, MD Nov 16, 2012 $55,765
Chemical Technician Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. Manassas, VA Sep 15, 2014 $47,000 -
$53,000
Chemical Technician GCC Rio Grande, Inc. Tijeras, NM Sep 10, 2015 $46,700
Chemical Technician Nextech Materials, Ltd. Centerville, OH Apr 11, 2008 $46,700
Chemical Technician Frontage Laboratories, Inc. Exton, PA Jan 09, 2016 $46,000
Chemical Technicians Arnold Electronics, Inc. Placentia, CA Feb 11, 2010 $45,914
Chemical Technicians The University of Akron Akron, OH Jan 20, 2011 $45,000
Chemical Technicians Advanced Technology Laboratories Las Vegas, NV Jul 11, 2014 $43,784
Chemical Technician Temple University Philadelphia, PA Sep 16, 2010 $43,000
Chemical Technicians Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY Jun 09, 2010 $37,170
Chemical Technician LH Sawyer Paving Company, Inc. Salem, VA Oct 01, 2014 $37,149
Chemical Technician Analytical Laboratories In Anaheim, Inc. Brea, CA May 01, 2012 $35,880
Chemical Technician Delfin Group USA LLC North Charleston, SC Oct 01, 2009 $35,568
Chemical Technicians American Circuit Technology, Inc. Anaheim, CA Jul 26, 2010 $35,479
Chemical Technician M&R Corporate Services, LLC Livonia, MI Aug 15, 2016 $35,270
Chemical Technician Qualimax, LLC Ridgefield, NJ Sep 06, 2014 $35,000

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Top Skills for A Chemical Technician

LabEquipmentSafetyProceduresRawMaterialsAnalyticalEquipmentPHMeterHplcChromatographyGCHazardousWasteChemicalReactionsOshaUv/VisEmergencyISOChemicalSolutionsProductQualitySpectroscopyChemicalSeparationTechniquesEnsureComplianceWetChemistry

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Top Chemical Technician Skills

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Raw Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operated Expedite machines in process of chip synthesis, QC lab equipment, and devices.
  • Served as plant trainer for new employees, including operations, safety procedures, and OSHA requirements.
  • Managed daily operations in the continuous process by charging raw materials in batch form to produce the finish product.
  • Performed instrumentation maintenance of all analytical equipment.
  • Calibrated equipment (electronic balance, pH meter, pipette, timepiece, thermometer).

Top Chemical Technician Employers

Chemical Technician Videos

Chemical Technicians - Career Profile

Become a Chemical Technician

A Day in the Life of Jessica, Process Engineering Team Member at Suncor Energy

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