Chemical technicians work as support staff for chemists and chemical engineers. There are two professional options for chemical technicians: research technicians, who work in laboratories, and process control chemical technicians who maintain chemical processes in manufacturing facilities or other industrial installations. Research technicians work in such fields as air pollution and water pollution control, taking samples and monitoring emission standards. Process control chemists are often in a quality control function, checking on product quality. They may get involved in developing improved production techniques.
Chemical technicians working in research and development usually possess a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Those who are employed in industrial settings as process and control professionals often are hired with just an associate's degree in chemistry. Previous experience is valuable in this field.
According to the Labor Department there were 61,000 chemical technicians employed in the U.S. in 2006. About forty percent worked for chemical manufacturers, while another thirty percent were employed by science-oriented businesses or service organizations.
The chemical technician profession is expected to grow more slowly than the average projected growth for jobs overall, during the next several years. Many of the chemical and pharmaceutical firms who currently employ chemical technicians will outsource manufacturing functions to overseas firms.
Lowest 10% $26,170
Median Salary $42,120
Highest 10% $64,650
Source: U.S. Department of Labor