Inside Chemical Technician Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Much Information And Skills Learned In School Not Necessary Or Useful...
There were classes and material that I do not use at all. Training by the company is as important if not more important than the information that I learned in school." (Process Technician; 2013)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in South Carolina, male
School: Studied Chemistry at North Carolina State University in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 1999

"Relearning Your Education...
What surprised me the most was how little most of what I learned we actually seem to need to know. I knew this was true for a lot of jobs, but I figured heavily specialized ones are a little different. Sure, you do need to know a lot of general things, but most of what they want you to know, you are learning there, or keeping on hand." (Chemical Technician; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Chemical Technology at UIC in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Many Lucrative Career Paths In Medical Device Production...
There are many opportunities and career paths in my profession, some of which you might not consider, or think that you are qualified for. After you get some experience, you can go into many aspects of medical device production, including metrology, validation, quality control, health safety, and even production planning or project design." (Production Technician; 2014)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Biology at Northern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 1995

"Paperwork Will Hunt You Down And Find You...
I was surprised in the quantity of paperwork the job involves. It alternates between feeling overpaid to work at a desk and underpaid to work with hazardous materials." (Chemistry Associate; 2013)

Career: , currently based in Oregon, male
School: Studied Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University in Oregon in 2010

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Chemistry Technician III: "The best part of my job is that I do not have to sit at a desk all day. I do have to prepare reports and generate results, but that is a small part of my day. The biggest part of my day is spent in the lab preparing and testing the samples. The worst part of the job is having to check the results that are generated by other people's instrument. It is so easy to make a mistake when putting the results into the computer. So we have to check and make sure that what is put into the computer is correct. This can become time consuming and tedious, and patience is critical." (2010)

Career Background

Chemical Technician

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Be Willing To Start At The Bottom And Build Skills...
Be willing to start at the bottom if necessary, and work your way up. If you don't expect to start at the top, you will learn a lot more, and will be more rounded, and have more skills. You will also meet more people that can be influential later on in your career." (Production Technician; 2014)

"Focus On Fundamentals...
The best tip is to make sure you actually understand the FUNDAMENTALS of what you are doing, as opposed to just the specifics. Since whatever job you get will require you to learn new things fast. This is helped much by the fundamentals, and little by specifics." (Chemical Technician; 2013)

"Algebra And Rote Learning Are Useful...
If you can perform simple algebra you can be a chemist. It isn't very hard but requires a lot of rote learning and memorizing terminology. It is something that is learned easily enough by doing." (Chemistry Associate; 2013)

"Keep Up To Date On Latest Information In Your Industry To Help Your Career...
They to get real world experience in the area of your potential job. The experience will be as useful or more useful to the information that you learn in class. Take advantage of any training opportunities to improve your skills and value to the company." (Process Technician; 2013)

"Get A Science Degree...
Science is such a vast and interesting field!! I always loved science and knew it was the field I wanted to pursue. I love the outdoors and the Earth and wanted to make a difference and protect it. I am in a job that makes a difference! We test for metals that can harm people, fish and animals and I am helping to prevent that. Do what makes you happy and interests you the most, but if you want to pursue a career in a lab a science degree is a must." (Chemistry Technician III; 2010)