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Chemical Technicians career

Career Description

Chemical Technicians conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for purposes,  such as research and development of new products or processes, quality control,  maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental,  theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

Common Work Tasks

  • Work with chemists and chemical engineers,  developing and using chemicals and related products and equipment
  • Work in experimental laboratories and manufacturing or other industrial plants
  • Collect and analyze samples of air and water to monitor pollution levels
  • Conduct a variety of laboratory procedures, from routine process control to complex research projects
  • Produce compounds through complex organic synthesis
  • Test packaging for design, integrity of materials, and environmental acceptability
  • Focus on quality assurance, monitoring product quality or production processes and developing new production techniques
  • Work in shipping to provide technical support and expertise

Other Job Titles

Chemical Technicians are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Science Technicians
  • Biological Technicians
  • Food Scientists
  • Animal Scientists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
There are several ways to qualify for a job as a science technician.  Many employers prefer applicants who have at least 2 years of specialized training or an associate degree in applied science or science-related technology. Because employers’ preferences vary, however, some science technicians have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or forensic science or have completed several science and math courses at a 4-year college.

Experience
     
Good communications skills are important for prospective chemical technicians in industry, who often need to explain technical matters to persons without statistical expertise. An understanding of business and the economy also is valuable for those who plan to work in private industry.

Salary

The median annual salary of a Chemical Technician is $40,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $62,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of chemical technicians are:

  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services - $34,600
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing - $43,290
  • Scientific Research and Development Services - $44,260
  • Basic Chemical Manufacturing  - $48,720
  • Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing  - $45,670

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  6%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 3,600
  • Employment 2006 : 61,000
  • Employment 2016:  65,000

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