How The Strong Interest Inventory Relates to a Career as a Chemical Technician

The Investigative Theme Code is one of the six main general theme codes in the Strong Interest Inventory Assessments. Individuals who score high in Investigative Themes are individuals who are generally interested in science, mathematics, and research. These are the people who prefer to work in an unstructured environment and enjoy working independently. A career as Chemical Technician is under the umbrella of Investigative Themes as these are the people involved in analyzing data, scientific experiments, and conducting chemical research and development. Additionally, chemical technicians must have critical thinking skills to analyze data and make decisions or conclusions. They also need to be detailed-oriented and have excellent problem-solving skills.

What Does a Chemical Technician Do? 

A Chemical Technician is a professional who is responsible for processing, analyzing, and testing chemicals in a laboratory environment. They work with a variety of equipment and techniques to identify, measure, and manipulate samples while also working with hazardous materials which require the utmost safety and attention to detail. A career as a Chemical technician requires technical and scientific proficiency, as well as expertise in problem-solving and critical thinking.

Chemical Technicians have different of duties and responsibilities, from collecting and preparing samples for analysis to recording and interpreting data. They must also be able to communicate effectively with teams and supervisors, both orally and in writing.

Chemical technicians also assist in the analysis of chemical processes, quality control, and safety compliance. They also help to develop new products, improve existing ones, and evaluate the effects of certain chemicals and compounds on people, the environment, and other substances.

Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) Investigative Theme Code Chemical Technician Career

Learn more about working as a Chemical Technician, including the typical income, duties, necessary skills, educational requirements, and other career information.

A Chemical Technician’s Day-to-Day Tasks and Tools

Chemical Technicians normally work in laboratories and scientific and manufacturing facilities. Their task is to help chemists and chemical engineers with scientific experiments, product development, and chemical testing. They are also in charge of monitoring chemical production and laboratory equipment maintenance. Chemical Technicians are also the ones who keep detailed documentation of the procedures, experiments, and results.

As stated by The Department of Labor, The Following Work Tasks are Most Often Completed by Chemical Technicians:

  • Evaluate chemical compounds or substances.
  • Sustain laboratory or technical equipment.
  • Assess the quality of materials or products.
  • Formulate compounds or solutions for products or testing.
  • Establish laboratory or field equipment.
  • Interpret research or operational data.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
  • Make scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Cope scientific or technical project resources.
  • Run laboratory or field equipment.
  • Oversee scientific or technical personnel.
  • Progress new or advanced products or production methods.

(Retrieved from O’ Chemical Technicians. Career Code: 19-4031.00 Detailed Work Activities)

Core Activities for Chemical Technicians:

  • Check product quality to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
  • Establish and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.
  • Formulate chemical solutions for products or processes, follow standardized formulas, or create experimental formulas.
  • Gather and interpret results of tests and analyses.
  • Deliver and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs, committees, or teams and by conducting laboratory or plant safety audits.

(Retrieved from O’ Chemical Technicians. Career Code: 19-4031.00 Tasks- Category-Core)

As a chemical technician, it is important to be familiar with the scientific tools and technologies used in the laboratory. This includes laboratory equipment such as microscopes, balances, centrifuges, spectrometers, and other instruments. Additionally, chemical technicians should be well adept in laboratory safety protocols, data analysis methods, and computer software such as Microsoft Excel. They should also be familiar with software for data management, such as LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) or ELN (Electronic Laboratory Notebook), which is also highly recommended.

Experience and Education

Individuals who desire to become a chemical technicians must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Although a degree is not required, some employers may prefer candidates who have a degree in a relevant field, such as chemistry or chemical engineering. Additionally, some states may require additional certifications or licenses for chemical technicians in certain industries. It is beneficial to research your area’s specific requirements for the position. Chemical technicians may also be required to take additional training courses to stay current with new technologies and safety regulations.

Aside from a degree, several professional certifications are available for chemical technicians. Acquiring certifications that can provide them with a high level of competence and knowledge in the field can increase potential career advancement and earnings. Some of the certificates available for chemical technicians career are the Certified Laboratory Technician (CLT) certification offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) certification for chemical technicians, and the International Society for Automation (ISA) certification for automation professionals.

Salary and Wages

Chemical Technicians generally earn a median salary of around $47,000 per year, with a range of between $37,000 and $59,000. The exact salary depends on a variety of factors, such as experience, education, and location, with higher salaries generally being found in larger metropolitan areas. Salary expectations should be discussed with potential employers during the job interview process, as benefits and other job-related perks may also factor into the final salary offer.

Below are some employment trends for Chemical Technicians:

  •     Median Salary: $23.56 hourly, $48,990 annual
  •     Employment: 60,400 employees
  •     Projected growth (2021-2031): Average (4% to 7%) 
  •     Projected job openings (2021-2031): 7,800
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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Click on one of these to access more Investigative Theme Code Careers: Astronomers, Aerospace Engineers and Technicians, Bicycle Repairs, Biochemical Engineers, Chemists, Computer System Analysts, Construction Carpenters, Coroners, Critical Care Nurses, Dental Lab Technician, Dermatologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Emergency Medical Technicians, Explosives Workers and Blasters Assistants, Fire Investigators, Forensic Science Technicians, Industrial Engineering Technicians, Intelligence Analysts, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects, Mechanical Engineers, Operations Research Analysts, Optometrists, Political Scientists, Quality Control Analysts, Software Applications Developers, Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers, Sports Medicine Physicians, Structural Iron and Steel Workers, Systems Software Developers, and Urban and Regional Planners.

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections