|Also Known As|
|Chemical Laboratory Technicians||Chemical Laboratory Technologist|
|Chemical Research Tech||Chemical Tech|
|Physical Sciences Techs|
The following other titles reflect the various areas in which chemical technologists and technicians can specialize:
Chemical techs provide technical support to teams of chemists, chemical engineers, and related professionals. Chemical techs generally specialize in an area such as analytical chemistry, production of industrial chemicals, materials science, food technology, mineral processing, pulp and paper technology, recycling technology, industrial chemistry, or environmental monitoring and protection.
Chemical technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
Chemical technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
Chemical techs require strong analytical skills, as well as strong skills in science and mathematics. They should be good with their hands and be able to pay close attention to details. They should also enjoy using instruments and equipment, and it is very important that they have strong communication skills, both oral and written.
Most work is performed indoors in labs or processing plants, but outdoor work may be necessary to take environmental samples or conduct site inspections. Chemical techs are often required to stand for extended periods of time. They may also be exposed to odours, toxic fumes, and other hazardous substances, so they must follow safety procedures to limit risks.
Chemical techs generally work 35 to 40 hours per week, but some jobs may require evening and weekend shifts to meet deadlines.
Employers hire chemical technicians who have completed a one- or two-year college program in chemical, biochemical, or chemical engineering technology. Employers hire chemical technologists who have completed a two- or three-year college program in chemical, biochemical, chemical engineering technology, or a closely related subject such as environmental technology. Some research jobs may be given to individuals with university degrees.
Some employers require certification. For example, most provincial governments across Canada require certification for workers in municipal water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment facilities. Information about certification is available through the provincial government, usually the environment or health department, or a professional society.
Some employers will give preference to individuals who are certified. Certification as a chemical technologist is available through the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Broader certification is also available for technicians or technologists working in applied science-technology fields such as bio-medical engineering, environmental, information, and mechanical disciplines, and other areas related to the built and natural environment. There are associations responsible for certifying and registering technology professionals within each Canadian province. For a listing of these associations, go to Technology Registrations Canada.
ECO Canada also offers certifications for a range of occupations in the chemical technology area that employers in the environmental field may prefer or require.
Employers may test language ability because it is important for workers to understand instructions and share information to complete tasks properly and work safely.
Chemical techs use communication skills on the job in many ways:
To review examples of how other Essential Skills are used by chemical techs in the workplace, go to Explore Careers by Essential Skills on the Working in Canada website.
The ability to speak and write in multiple languages can be an advantage in Canada’s multicultural environment.
Factors affecting wages include workers’ level of education, work experience, and job responsibilities, plus the job location, work conditions, and whether the workforce is unionized or not. The numbers below reflect a national average for low, median (mid-point), and high wages (before taxes).
|$15 per hour||$24 per hour||$39 per hour|
|$31,200 per year||$49,920 per year||$81,120 per year|
For wage information in specific regions or cities in Canada, see Working in Canada’s Explore Careers by Wages.
Transferring skills and moving to different jobs within this occupational group is very possible.
Chances to advance vary depending on the size and nature of the organization and the individual’s qualifications. Experienced chemical technologists might move into management positions or sales, or they might own and operate their own laboratories.
Chemical techs can also advance in their careers by pursuing additional education and other career development opportunities, such as participating on special work projects and industry committees. For information about education programs, go to the list of Canadian universities and colleges offering programs in chemical sciences and engineering at the website of the Chemical Institute of Canada.
Links to general career information and job posting resources are provided on the Introductory Page.