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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Chemical Technician
Top Careers After Chemical Technician
Hispanic or Latino13.6%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix10.6%
Rochester Institute of Technology9.2%
Trident Technical College5.6%
University of Texas at San Antonio5.6%
Texas A&M University5.6%
Monroe Community College5.6%
University of Houston5.6%
Iowa State University5.6%
Washington State University4.2%
University of Rochester3.5%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro3.5%
University of Cincinnati3.5%
San Jose State University3.5%
University of Massachusetts - Lowell3.5%
West Virginia University3.5%
Corning Community College3.5%
University of Pittsburgh -3.5%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Chemical Technician||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Nov 04, 2013||$72,000 -
|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 20, 2011||$60,000|
|Chemical Technician||Chantilly Biopharma LLC||Chantilly, VA||Aug 15, 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 23, 2011||$56,000|
|Chemical Technicians||Bio-Pharm Inc.||Levittown, PA||Dec 30, 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 -
|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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Chemical Technicians - Career Profile
Become a Chemical Technician
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