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Chemical Technician Careers

As a chemical technician, your duty will be to use laboratory instruments and techniques to assist chemists and chemical engineers in researching, developing, producing, and testing chemical products and processes. You might work with agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, or industrial chemicals to develop new products or to research methods that make working with and disposing of chemicals safe for everyone.

The tasks that you will perform in this capacity include applying, evaluating, and improving chemical processes, recording results meticulously, and reporting all deviations from optimum.

Furthermore, they are responsible for conducting quality control and safety surveys and log results across time for different sites and setting up, operating, and maintaining equipment to create, disseminate, use, or apply chemicals.

Individuals holding a two-year degree in applied sciences or chemical technology is becoming the standard requirement for many employers. In addition, those who are well trained in the use of laboratory equipment will have the best job opportunities.

The average annual salary for this position is $35,788. Furthermore, the job is projected to grow further in the near future, resulting in more job opportunities.

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.

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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Average Salary
$39,773
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
22,872
Job Openings

Chemical Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Chemical Technician

Top Careers After Chemical Technician

Chemist
9.8 %

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Chemical Technician

Chemical Technicians in America make an average salary of $39,773 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $52,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$39,773

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Livonia, MI
Salary Range41k - 61k$50k$50,246
East Brunswick, NJ
Salary Range38k - 57k$47k$46,913
Levittown, PA
Salary Range37k - 56k$46k$46,304
Alexandria, VA
Salary Range37k - 56k$46k$45,685
Bothell, WA
Salary Range35k - 52k$43k$42,917
Austin, TX
Salary Range35k - 51k$43k$42,841
$28k
$61k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Chemical Technicians
Chemical Technicians
Aerotek
Aerotek
12/24/2020
12/24/2020
$37,56612/24/2020
$37,566
Chemical Technician/Reagents
Chemical Technician/Reagents
Randstad
Randstad
12/05/2020
12/05/2020
$52,17512/05/2020
$52,175
Chemical Technician
Chemical Technician
Aerotek
Aerotek
11/23/2020
11/23/2020
$31,30511/23/2020
$31,305
Chemical Management Technician
Chemical Management Technician
Cortech LLC
Cortech LLC
11/22/2020
11/22/2020
$31,30511/22/2020
$31,305
Chemical Technician
Chemical Technician
Randstad
Randstad
11/05/2020
11/05/2020
$54,26211/05/2020
$54,262
See More Recent Salaries

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Chemical Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Chemical Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Chemical Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Chemical Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Chemical Technician Demographics

Gender

male

75.6 %

female

20.6 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

66.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.1 %

Asian

8.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.0 %

German

5.0 %

French

5.0 %
See More Demographics

Chemical Technician Education

Majors

Chemistry
20.8 %
Business
12.4 %
Biology
9.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

34.6 %

High School Diploma

26.1 %

Associate

18.5 %

Top Colleges for Chemical Technicians

1. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,940
Enrollment
4,169

2. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Guayama

Guayama, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,902
Enrollment
1,585

3. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,896
Enrollment
15,529

4. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,000
Enrollment
25,973

5. The University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Knoxville, TN • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,006
Enrollment
22,653

6. New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

Brooklyn, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,120
Enrollment
16,204

7. Lawrence Technological University

Southfield, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$33,570
Enrollment
1,991

8. Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,788
Enrollment
11,008

9. University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,061
Enrollment
6,228

10. Murray State University

Murray, KY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,084
Enrollment
6,830
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Chemical Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.6% of chemical technicians listed lab equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as ability to use technology and analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Chemical Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chemical technician. The best states for people in this position are Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Arkansas. Chemical technicians make the most in Michigan with an average salary of $50,198. Whereas in New Jersey and New Mexico, they would average $46,863 and $46,422, respectively. While chemical technicians would only make an average of $45,792 in Arkansas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Michigan

Total Chemical Technician Jobs:
599
Highest 10% Earn:
$72,000
Location Quotient:
1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Chemical Technician Jobs:
744
Highest 10% Earn:
$68,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Maine

Total Chemical Technician Jobs:
182
Highest 10% Earn:
$53,000
Location Quotient:
1.78
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Chemical Technician Employers

1. Kodak
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$39,391
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
46+
2. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$36,571
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
39+
3. Air Products & Chemicals
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$62,935
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
31+
4. Baker Hughes, a GE company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$71,333
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
29+
5. The Dow Chemical Company
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$65,581
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
28+
6. DAK Americas
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$35,280
Chemical Technicians Hired: 
24+

Chemical Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020