Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.
Technicians typically work in laboratories, where they conduct experiments, or in manufacturing facilities, such as chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, where they monitor production processes. Most technicians work full time.
How to Become a Chemical Technician
Chemical technicians need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education for most jobs. Most chemical technicians receive on-the-job training.
Employment of chemical technicians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Graduates of applied science technology programs who are trained to use equipment typically found in laboratories or production facilities should have the best opportunities.
This occupation supported 63,600 jobs in 2012 and 66,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 4.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.3% in 2022 to 69,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 64,700, compared with an observed value of 66,500, 2.8% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 1.9% in 2024 to 67,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 70,600 jobs for 2024, 4.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.