Chemical technicians conduct laboratory tests and experiments to analyse solids, liquids and gases for research and development purposes. They assist chemists and chemical engineers in developing products for a variety of industries, including paint, solvents, medicines and food additives. They also help assess and improve existing manufacturing processes. Chemical technicians maintain lab equipment, prepare technical reports and present findings to their colleagues and employers.
Chemical technicians usually work a standard 40–hour workweek. Some overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines or if an unexpected problem needs troubleshooting.
Technicians typically work in laboratories, both corporate and academic, or manufacturing plants. Exposure to contaminants as well as physical and health hazards is possible, but risks are minimal when proper safety procedures are followed. This often requires wearing protective equipment, including safety glasses, gloves and hardhats.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
DVM / VMD degree
Employers usually prefer chemical technicians who have an associate's degree in applied science or chemical technology. Two years of coursework in chemistry, biology, math, physics and laboratory experience is required, with or without a degree. Additional statistics and computer science classes can also set you ahead of other job candidates.
Look into internship and cooperative programmes with area businesses to help you gain valuable hands-on lab experience while attending school. Once employed as a chemical technician, you will receive on-the-job training from an experienced tech or scientist on lab, safety and documentation procedures.
Chemical technicians can specialise in certain industries such as food or pharmaceutical. Every job then adds relevant experience for more challenging and lucrative roles in larger companies.
Experience as a chemical technician, combined with a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, allows you to advance to a career as a chemist or chemical engineer.