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Working As a Formulation Technician

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

  • Stressful

  • $56,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Formulation 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 Formulation 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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Formulation Technician Career Paths

Formulation Technician
Laboratory Technician Technician Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Chemist
Senior Chemist
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Chemist Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Field Service Technician Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Field Service Technician Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Field Service Technician Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Technician Electronics Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Technician Electronics Technician Production Supervisor
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Production Technician Engineering Technician Process Engineer
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Project Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Chemist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Production Supervisor Superintendent
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Production Supervisor Warehouse Supervisor
Logistics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Engineer Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Research Scientist Research And Development Scientist
Scientist Senior, Research And Development
9 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Research Scientist Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Formulation Technician?

Top Skills for A Formulation Technician

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Raw Materials
  3. Formulation Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained related lab equipment to ensure standards of sanitation remained high.
  • Perform general laboratory experimentation including formulations and testing raw materials, etc.
  • Perform use training of all pharmaceutical formulation equipment to clients who desire to perform their own on-site product development.
  • Maintained batch records and reviewed manufacturing forms in accordance to standard operating procedures under Good Manufacturing Practices.
  • Certified and trained to drive sit down and stand up forklift.Certified and trained in Safety Procedures and HAZMAT

Formulation Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

58.7%

Female

32.9%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

10.6%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Tigrinya

12.5%

Carrier

12.5%

French

12.5%

Chinese

12.5%
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Formulation Technician Education

Schools

Johnston Community College

10.6%

Missouri Western State University

7.6%

Temple University

6.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.1%

California State University - San Marcos

6.1%

Ashford University

4.5%

Louisiana Tech University

4.5%

University of New Hampshire

4.5%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.5%

Lehigh University

4.5%

University of Phoenix

4.5%

University of Iowa

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

Colorado State University

4.5%

Cleveland State University

4.5%

Salem State University

3.0%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

3.0%

University of Pennsylvania

3.0%

Bowie State University

3.0%
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Majors

Biology

21.0%

Chemistry

14.6%

Business

11.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

6.4%

Criminal Justice

6.4%

Pharmacy

5.6%

General Studies

3.4%

Chemical Engineering

3.4%

Microbiology

3.0%

Education

3.0%

Communication

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Biotechnology

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%

Automotive Technology

1.7%

Nursing

1.7%

Management

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.3%

Other

23.1%

Masters

13.4%

Associate

10.5%

Certificate

5.7%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

1.7%
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