With a combination of science interests and hands-on skills, chemical technicians improve consumer products… from baby shampoo and breakfast cereal to engine oil. They use laboratory instruments and techniques to help research, produce, and test chemical products and processes. Chemical technicians generally work on teams led by chemists or chemical engineers… who direct their work and evaluate the results. Technicians work in laboratories or industrial facilities such as chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. In labs, chemical technicians help conduct experiments in research and development —for example, helping develop new medicines, or clean energy and pollution control solutions. They prepare reports and give presentations to describe results. Those who work in manufacturing… assist in developing more efficient production processes, and troubleshoot fixes for malfunctioning instruments. Most chemical technicians work full time, and may work extra hours to meet project deadlines. Some work irregular hours monitoring experiments or plant operations. Following proper procedures is essential in this field… to avoid exposure to health or safety hazards. For most jobs, chemical technicians need an associate’s degree in applied science or chemical technology, or two years of related college coursework. Lab experience at school is critical to gain hands on practice conducting experiments and using instruments properly.
What they do:
Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for 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.
On the job, you would:
Conduct chemical or physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative or quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, or gaseous materials.
Maintain, clean, or sterilize laboratory instruments or equipment.
Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
Hand and Finger Use
put together small parts with your fingers
hold or move items with your hands
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
associate's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.