Chemical Technicians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
For most jobs, chemical technicians need an associate’s degree in applied science or chemical technology or 2 years of postsecondary education.
Training Required
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.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 4% (Slower than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Advancement
Technicians who have a bachelor’s degree may advance to positions as chemical engineers or chemists.
Median pay: How much do Chemical Technicians make?
$45,840 Annual Salary
$22.04 per hour

Chemical technicians use laboratory instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

What do Chemical Technicians do?

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, compile, and interpret results of chemical and physical experiments, tests, and analyses for a variety of purposes, including research and development
  • 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. However, they may serve as mentors to chemists who are new to a lab or to a specialized area of research.

Technicians who work in laboratories may help conduct experiments that contribute to research and development. For example, some chemical technicians help chemists and other scientists develop new medicines. In this way, chemical technicians often bridge the gap in knowledge remaining when a chemist moves on to a new assignment.

Other chemical technicians work in manufacturing and assist in developing more efficient production processes.

Careers for Chemical Technicians

  • Assayers
  • Chemical laboratory technicians
  • Inorganic chemical technicians

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