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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

  • $46,468

    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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Do you work as a Chemical Technician?

Chemical Technician Jobs

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Chemical Technician Career Paths

Chemical Technician
Quality Control Chemist Quality Control Manager Safety Manager
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Engineer Environmental Engineer
Environmental Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor Production Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Chemist Laboratory Supervisor Pharmacist Technician
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Project Manager Product Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Process Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Operator Technician Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Technician Production Supervisor
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Repair Technician Quality Control Inspector
Quality Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Engineering Technician Quality Engineer
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Laboratory Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Dispatcher Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operator Delivery Driver Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Chemical Technician?

Chemical Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

76.2%

Female

22.4%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.2%

German

7.3%

French

5.5%

Vietnamese

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Carrier

3.6%

Polish

3.6%

Russian

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Khmer

1.8%

Occidental

1.8%

Greek

1.8%

Dakota

1.8%

Swedish

1.8%

Italian

1.8%
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Chemical Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

9.2%

Texas A&M University

6.3%

Monroe Community College

6.3%

Trident Technical College

5.6%

University of Houston

5.6%

Iowa State University

5.6%

Temple University

4.9%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.9%

Brazosport College

4.9%

University of Rochester

3.5%

Columbia Southern University

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.5%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

3.5%

University of Cincinnati

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Kean University

3.5%

West Virginia University

3.5%

Corning Community College

3.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.5%
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Majors

Chemistry

23.5%

Business

12.1%

Biology

11.5%

Chemical Engineering

8.7%

Environmental Science

4.8%

Electrical Engineering

4.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Chemical Technology

3.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

General Studies

2.6%

Precision Metal Working

2.5%

Management

2.1%

Computer Science

2.0%

Automotive Technology

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%

Industrial Technology

1.8%

Nursing

1.8%

Education

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.9%

Other

28.4%

Associate

13.7%

Masters

10.1%

Certificate

5.7%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.6%
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Internship
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Real Chemical Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chemical Patent Technical Advisor Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd Chicago, IL Oct 13, 2010 $98,000
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 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 Jan 05, 2012 $56,000
Chemical Technicians Bio-Pharm Inc. Levittown, PA Dec 30, 2011 $56,000
Chemical Technician OHAE, LLC. Vienna, VA Sep 21, 2015 $47,133
Chemical Technician Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. Manassas, VA Sep 15, 2014 $47,000 -
$53,000
Chemical Technician Nextech Materials, Ltd. Centerville, OH Apr 11, 2008 $46,700
Chemical Technician GCC Rio Grande, Inc. Tijeras, NM Sep 10, 2015 $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 Technicians Emcure Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. East Brunswick, NJ Aug 01, 2014 $38,000
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

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Top Skills for A Chemical Technician

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  1. Lab
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Raw Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained laboratory certification by accurately calculating the amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons in blind test samples distributed by the EPA.
  • Acquired skills: Consistent quality controlled and safety procedures; Understanding of material production process and regulatory requirements.
  • Monitored production via distributed control systems and set up/staging of raw materials.
  • Preformed quality analysis of chemical standard reference materials using an array of methods.
  • Maintain daily physical inventory of chemicals by adjusting if necessary and logging into the company database.

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Top Chemical Technician Employers

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Jobs From 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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