Chemical Technician: Education and Training Facts

Learn about the education and training needed to prepare you for a career as a chemical technician working in a scientific laboratory. See what degree programs are available, learn about common topics of study and find out what kind of training you can expect. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You may need some college-level training in chemistry, physics and math if you want to find employment as a chemical technician. A 2-year associate's degree is the most common education requirement for chemical process technicians. These professionals control, monitor and maintain the equipment used in chemical manufacturing plants. However, if you want to be a chemical technician who assists chemists in the research and development process, you may need a 4-year bachelor's degree.

Degrees Associate's degree in chemical technology or applied science; 2 years of postsecondary education may also be accepted; bachelor's degree can help technicians earn advanced positions in the field; undergraduate certificates in chemical technology are available
Online Some schools offer chemistry classes online; other programs offer hybrid courses that include both online lectures and in-class experiences
Programs Chemical process technology, chemical technician, chemical technology
Training On-the-job training on proper methods and procedures used during experiments and on how to operate equipment

What Degree Programs Are Available?

Relevant associate degrees can include those in chemical process technology, chemical technology or chemical technician training. You can find these degree programs at many community colleges, technical colleges and state universities. If you're looking for a 4-year degree program, colleges and universities around the country offer bachelor's degree programs in chemistry. There are undergraduate certificate programs in chemical technology that are estimated to last about 45 weeks.

What Will I Study?

Associate's degree programs in chemical technology and chemical process technology require you to take classes and labs in the following:

  • General and organic chemistry
  • Chemical, instrumental or qualitative analysis methodologies
  • Quality control
  • Safety measures
  • Laboratory equipment use
  • Mechanical systems technology

Bachelor's degree programs require more study in the areas of physical and inorganic chemistry, in addition to advanced courses in calculus and physics. You will also need to complete more general education requirements in English and the social sciences.

Can I Take Classes Online?

Online degree programs in chemistry are not common at the undergraduate level. However, some schools do offer chemistry courses online. You can find online courses in chemistry survey, general chemistry, organic chemistry and analytical methods, among other basic-level offerings. You may have to complete chemistry laboratory sessions on campus. There are also hybrid courses available that allow you to take courses primarily online and participate in a small number of online learning experiences that may be available during weekends.

What Kind of Training Is Available?

For the most part, chemical technicians receive on-the-job training when hired as a new employee. This will help to ensure your understanding of proper methods and procedures that are used to conduct experiments and operate equipment used to perform your job duties. The amount of training received will vary based on your experience and education. Training will also be determined by the industry in which your'e employed. In addition, there are a range of general skills that chemical technicians should have, such as the following:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Time management
  • Analytical
  • Technical
  • Critical thinking
  • Observation

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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