Chemical Laboratory Technician Training Programs

A chemical technician is responsible for assisting chemists in their research and development. Read on to learn what training programs are available to become a chemical technician, as well as common courses, employment outlook and salary statistics. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Sort of Training Programs are Available for Chemical Laboratory Technicians?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in some cases, a high school diploma may be all you need to secure a position as a laboratory technician ( However, the BLS also states that employers prefer if you hold a post-secondary certificate or an associate's degree in chemical technology.

You might want to use the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to help locate a suitable school and program. The NCES searchable, online database lists nearly 70 community colleges and technical schools that offer chemical technology certificate and associate's degree programs.

Training Programs Post-secondary certificate and associate's degree programs
Common Courses Basic and organic chemistry, biology, chromatography
Possible Careers Chemical process technician (with an associate's degree)
Median Salary (2018)$48,160* (for chemical technician)
Job Outlook (2016-26)4%* (for all chemical technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Program Details?

Though you earn a certificate by way of a formal education program, it is not a degree. It's a specialized program that contains no general education courses. On the other hand, an associate's degree program requires you to complete general education requirements.

Typical chemical technology courses you might encounter include basic and organic chemistry, quantitative and qualitative analysis, biology, industrial analysis, chromatography, instrumentation, laboratory techniques and computer fundamentals. There are generally extensive, practical laboratory components that go along with classroom instruction.

Also, you're often required to serve an internship at a school-approved facility. Because of the considerable amount of hands-on participation requirements, there are no online programs in chemical laboratory technology

In many cases, schools have articulation agreements with other colleges or universities. Once you earn an associate's degree in chemical technology, you may be able to transfer those credits to a 4-year program at the partner school.

What Can I Do with a Degree?

With an associate's degree, you may choose to enter the work force directly as a chemical process technician. For example, you may be able to find employment with a laboratory that manufactures fertilizers, pharmaceuticals or foods. You may go to work for public or private labs dealing with environmental analysis, water treatment or biotechnology. If your interest lies in research and development, according to the BLS, you may need a bachelor's degree.

What Are Some Employment and Wage Projections?

The BLS projected that while there will always be a need for chemical technicians, particularly in the area of pharmaceuticals, employment opportunities are expected to grow slower than average from 2016-2026. In 2018, the BLS determined the mean annual salary for chemical technicians to be $48,160.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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