Chemical Technicians

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About the Job

Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

It is also Called

  • Water Quality Technician
  • Water Analyst
  • Viscosity Worker
  • Viscosity Inspector
  • Textile Technologist
  • Textile Colorist Formulator
  • Spectroscopist
  • Spectrographer
  • Spectrograph Operator
  • Senior Laboratory Technician (Senior Lab Technician)
View All

What They Do

  • Develop new chemical engineering processes or production techniques.
  • Operate experimental pilot plants, assisting with experimental design.
  • Design or fabricate experimental apparatus to develop new products or processes.
  • Direct or monitor other workers producing chemical products.
  • Write technical reports or prepare graphs or charts to document experimental results.
  • Develop or conduct programs of sampling and analysis to maintain quality standards of raw materials, chemical intermediates, or products.
  • Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses.
  • Order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.
  • Train new employees on topics such as the proper operation of laboratory equipment.
  • Provide technical support or assistance to chemists or engineers.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $47,170 with most people making between $28,680 and $72,340


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,190 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 4,420 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 23 openings due to growth and about 127 replacement openings for approximately 150 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education