Chemical Technicians – What They Do and How to Get There

Chemical Technicians – What They Do and How to Get There

Chemical technicians play a crucial role in the chemical industry. They work with chemists and chemical engineers to conduct experiments and analyses that help in the development and production of new products. In this article, we’ll discuss what chemical technicians do, some examples of jobs they may perform, and the education and training needed to enter the field.

What Do Chemical Technicians Do?

Chemical technicians are responsible for conducting experiments, analyzing samples, and recording data under the direction of chemists and chemical engineers. They work extensively with laboratory instruments and equipment, preparing solutions, and helping to maintain laboratory facilities.

Some examples of jobs that chemical technicians perform include:

  • Conducting chemical and physical experiments to assist with research and development of new products or processes;
  • Operating and maintaining laboratory equipment, such as centrifuges, spectrometers, and chromatographs;
  • Preparing test solutions, chemical formulas, and laboratory reports;
  • Performing safety tests to ensure safe handling and storage of chemicals;
  • Monitoring and optimizing chemical processes and conducting quality control tests to ensure product consistency and quality.

Education and Training

To become a chemical technician, you typically need an associate degree or a certificate in chemistry, chemical technology, or a related field. These programs typically take around two years to complete, and they cover topics such as safety procedures, laboratory techniques, and chemical instrumentation.

Chemical technicians may also receive on-the-job training in the specific laboratory procedures and equipment used by their employer. However, employers may prefer to hire candidates with prior experience working in a laboratory environment or an internship in a chemical laboratory.

Career Progression

As with many careers, chemical technicians can progress by gaining experience and advancing their education. Advancement may lead to higher paying positions, more supervisory roles, or greater responsibility for leading projects.

Some opportunities for advancement in the field include:

  • Research and Development Technician – Focusing on developing new products or techniques
  • Quality Control Technician – Inspecting products or conducting audits to ensure consistency and quality
  • Senior Chemical Technician – Managing junior technicians or leading laboratory teams
  • Chemical Engineer – Pursuing a more advanced education to become a chemical engineer and design new chemical processes.

Getting into the Field

To get started in the field of chemical technology, you’ll need a solid educational foundation in chemistry and laboratory techniques. You can start by obtaining an associate degree or a certificate in chemistry or a related field. Additionally, internships in a laboratory environment can provide valuable hands-on training and real-world experience.

In conclusion, a career as a chemical technician can be a rewarding and challenging one. With the demand for new chemicals and materials always on the rise, the opportunities for chemical technicians are steadily increasing, and there is plenty of room for career growth and advancement in the field.

Geography Occupation Job Level Salary (Average) Salary (Minimum)
US National Average Chemical technicians All workers $51,084.80 – $61,214.40 $44,449.60
US National Average Chemical technicians Entry $50,710.40 N/A
US National Average Chemical technicians Nonunion $56,118.40 $53,414.40
US National Average Chemical technicians Full-time $59,280.00 – $64,105.60 $56,971.20
Massachusetts Chemical technicians Full-time $66,372.80 N/A
Indiana Chemical technicians Nonunion $50,356.80 $48,755.20

Chemical technicians are responsible for helping chemists and chemical engineers develop, research, and design chemical processes and products. The salary data for chemical technicians varies depending on the job level, with higher-level roles commanding higher salaries. The average salary for entry-level chemical technician positions in the US is $50,710.40, while the average salary for chemical technicians at all levels is $51,084.80 – $61,214.40.

The effects of unionization on this occupation’s salary are visible, with non-unionized chemical technicians earning an average of $56,118.40, while those who belong to unions receive an average of $53,414.40. Full-time chemical technicians also earn more than their part-time counterparts, with an average salary of $59,280.00 – $64,105.60.

The best-paying geography for chemical technicians is Massachusetts, where full-time chemical technicians can earn an average of $66,372.80. Indiana, on the other hand, is the lowest-paying geography for this occupation, with non-unionized chemical technicians earning an average of $50,356.80.