Jobs, Career, Salary and Education Information (2023)

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to assist chemists and chemical engineers.

Work Environment: 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 One: Chemical technicians need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education for most jobs. Most chemical technicians receive on-the-job training.

Salary: The median annual wage for chemical technicians is $48,990.

Job Outlook: Employment of chemical technicians is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of chemical technicians with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a chemical technician with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Chemical Technician Jobs

  • Chemical Technician - EnerVenue - Fremont, CA

    EnerVenue is Looking for a technician with hands-on chemistry lab experiences. This candidate will ... Work with hazardous chemicals on a daily basis, chemical processing including mixing and coating

  • - Apidel Technologies - Fremont, CA

    Your Role: " Versum Materials, now a part of Electronics has an opening for a Semiconductor Gas and Chemical Equipment Technician . The individual will be responsible for supporting and leading the ...

  • Reagent Technician | Chemical - Sustainable Talent - Fremont, CA

    Schedule: 1st Shift- Monday-Friday 8am-5pm We are seeking a Chemical Technician with a background in Reagent Production and Quality Control to join our team. * Responsible for production planning to ...

See all Chemical Technician jobs

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What Chemical Technicians Do[About this section] [To Top]

Chemical technicians use laboratory instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

Duties of Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians typically do the following:

  • Monitor chemical processes and test the quality of products to make sure that they meet standards and specifications
  • Set up and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Troubleshoot production problems or malfunctioning instruments
  • Prepare chemical solutions
  • Conduct, compile, and interpret results of chemical and physical experiments, tests, and analyses for a variety of purposes, including research and development
  • Prepare technical reports, graphs, and charts, and give presentations that summarize their results

Most chemical technicians work on teams. Typically, they are led by chemists or chemical engineers who direct their work and evaluate their results. However, they may serve as mentors to chemists who are new to a lab or to a specialized area of research.

Technicians who work in laboratories may help conduct experiments that contribute to research and development. For example, some chemical technicians help chemists and other scientists develop new medicines. In this way, chemical technicians often bridge the gap in knowledge remaining when a chemist moves on to a new assignment.

Other chemical technicians work in manufacturing and assist in developing more efficient production processes.

Work Environment for Chemical Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Chemical technicians hold about 60,400 jobs. The largest employers of chemical technicians are as follows:

Testing laboratories 16%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 10%
Wholesale trade 4%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 3%

Chemical technicians typically work in laboratories or in industrial facilities such as chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants.

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Injuries and Illnesses for Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians can be exposed to health or safety hazards when handling certain chemicals and plant equipment, but there is little risk if proper procedures are followed.

Chemical Technician Work Schedules

Most technicians work full time. Occasionally, they may have to work additional hours to meet project deadlines or troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes. Some may work irregular hours to monitor laboratory experiments or plant operations.

How to Become a Chemical Technician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Chemical Technicians near you!

Chemical technicians need an associate's degree or 2 years of postsecondary education for most jobs. Most chemical technicians also receive on-the-job training.

Education for Chemical Technicians

For most jobs, chemical technicians need an associate's degree in applied science or chemical technology or 2 years of postsecondary education.

Many technical and community colleges offer programs in applied sciences or chemical technology. Students typically take classes in math, physics, and biology, in addition to chemistry courses. Coursework in statistics and computer science is also useful because technicians routinely do data analysis and modeling.

One of the most important aspects of any degree program is laboratory time because it provides students with hands-on practice in conducting experiments and using various instruments and techniques properly. Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs that help students gain employment experience while attending school.

Important Qualities for Chemical Technicians

Ability to use technology. Chemical technicians must set up, operate, troubleshoot, and repair sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust the equipment to ensure that experiments and processes are running properly and safely.

Analytical skills. Chemical technicians must conduct scientific experiments with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Chemical technicians must explain their work to scientists and engineers, and to workers who may not have a technical background. They often write reports to communicate their results.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemical technicians reach their conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment.

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Interpersonal skills. Chemical technicians must work well with others as part of a team because they often work with scientists, engineers, and other technicians.

Observation skills. Chemical technicians must carefully monitor chemical experiments and processes to note any unusual or unexpected results observed during an experiment. They must keep complete records of their work, including conditions and procedures.

Time-management skills. Chemical technicians often work on multiple tasks and projects at the same time and must prioritize their assignments.

Chemical Technician Training

Most chemical technicians receive on-the-job training. Typically, experienced technicians teach new employees proper methods and procedures for conducting experiments and operating equipment. The length of training varies with the new employee's level of experience and education, and the industry the worker is employed in.

Advancement for Chemical Technicians

Technicians who have a bachelor's degree may advance to positions as chemical engineers or chemists.

Chemical Technician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for chemical technicians is $48,990. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,980, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $80,570.

The median annual wages for chemical technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private $49,050
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing $48,670
Wholesale trade $47,860
Testing laboratories $39,410

Most technicians work full time. Occasionally, they may have to work additional hours to meet project deadlines or troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes. Some may work irregular hours to monitor laboratory experiments or plant operations.

Job Outlook for Chemical Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of chemical technicians is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 7,800 openings for chemical technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians will continue to be in demand to test new materials and products developed by chemists and chemical engineers. They also will be needed to monitor the quality of chemical products and processes. In addition, increased demand for these technicians is expected due to greater interest in environmental issues such as pollution control, clean energy, and sustainability.

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Employment projections data for Chemical Technicians, 2021-31
Occupational Title Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31
Percent Numeric
Chemical technicians 60,400 63,100 4 2,700

Careers Related to Chemical Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists by performing duties such as measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products.

Biological Technicians

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

Chemists and Materials Scientists

Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health.

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Many technicians specialize in various types of laboratory analysis.

Geological and Hydrologic Technicians

Geological and hydrologic technicians support scientists and engineers in exploring, extracting, and monitoring natural resources.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Nuclear Technicians

Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production. They operate special equipment and monitor the levels of radiation that are produced.

More Chemical Technician Information[About this section] [To Top]

For more information about chemical technicians, visit

American Chemical Society

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American Chemistry Council

A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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