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What Chemical Technicians Do

Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help scientists and engineers in researching, developing, and producing chemical products and processes.


Chemical technicians typically do the following:

Most chemical technicians work on teams. Typically, they are supervised by chemists or chemical engineers who direct their work and evaluate their results. For example, some chemical technicians help chemists and other scientists develop new medicines. Others help chemical engineers develop more efficient production processes.

Chemical technicians’ duties and titles often depend on where they work. The following are the two main types of chemical technicians:

Laboratory technicians typically help scientists conduct experiments and analyses. For example, they prepare chemical solutions, test products for quality and performance, and analyze compounds produced through complex chemical processes. Other laboratory technicians analyze samples of air and water to monitor pollution levels. Laboratory technicians usually set up and maintain laboratory equipment and instruments.

Processing technicians monitor the quality of products and processes at chemical manufacturing facilities. For example, they adjust processing equipment to improve production efficiency and output. They collect samples from production batches, which then are tested for impurities and other defects. Processing technicians also test product packaging to make sure it is well designed, will hold up well, and will be good for the environment.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition