Summary Report for:
19-4031.00 - Chemical Technicians
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Analytical Laboratory Technician (Analytical Lab Technician), Chemical Analyst, Chemical Technician, Laboratory Analyst (Lab Analyst), Laboratory Technician (Lab Tech), Laboratory Tester (Lab Tester), Organic Preparation Analyst (Organic Prep Analyst), Quality Control Laboratory Technician (QC Lab Tech), Quality Control Technician (QC Tech), Research Technician
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct chemical or physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative or quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, or gaseous materials.
- Maintain, clean, or sterilize laboratory instruments or equipment.
- Monitor product quality to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
- Set up and conduct chemical experiments, tests, and analyses, using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical or chemical separation techniques, or microscopy.
- Prepare chemical solutions for products or processes, following standardized formulas, or create experimental formulas.
- Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses.
- Provide and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs, committees, or teams and by conducting laboratory or plant safety audits.
- Provide technical support or assistance to chemists or engineers.
- Develop or conduct programs of sampling and analysis to maintain quality standards of raw materials, chemical intermediates, or products.
- Train new employees on topics such as the proper operation of laboratory equipment.
- Write technical reports or prepare graphs or charts to document experimental results.
- Order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.
- Operate experimental pilot plants, assisting with experimental design.
- Direct or monitor other workers producing chemical products.
- Design or fabricate experimental apparatus to develop new products or processes.
- Develop new chemical engineering processes or production techniques.
- Analytical or scientific software — Laboratory information management system LIMS
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software ; Microsoft Access ; Oracle software ; Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — Software development tools
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Oracle Java ; Python
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Air or gas tanks or cylinders — Lecture bottles
- Air velocity and temperature monitors — Velometers
- Atomic absorption AA spectrometers — Atomic absorption AA spectroscopes
- Barometers — Aneroid barometers; Mercury barometers
- Bench refractometers or polarimeters — Abbe refractometers; Differential refractometers
- Benchtop centrifuges
- Bi metallic sensors — Bimetallic strip thermometers
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Optical compound microscopes
- Calorimeters — Bomb calorimeters; Differential scanning calorimeters
- Ceramic crucibles — Gooch crucibles
- Chromatographic detectors — Ultraviolet UV light detectors
- Chromatography syringes — Chromatography microsyringes
- Chromatography tubing — Photomultiplier tubes
- Cuvettes — Plastic cuvettes
- Decontamination shower — Safety showers
- Desktop computers
- Dissolved oxygen meters
- Drying cabinets or ovens — Laboratory drying ovens
- Electronic toploading balances
- Eyewashers or eye wash stations — Eyewash fountains
- Facial shields — Face shields
- Filtering machinery — Filter pumps
- Fire extinguishers
- Flame ionization analyzers — Flame ionization detectors FID
- Flowmeters — Bubble flow meters
- Fractionation apparatus — Bubble-cap fractionating columns; Molecular stills
- Freezedryers or lyophilzers — Lyophilizers
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Exhaust hoods; Explosion-proof fume hoods; Perchloric acid hoods; Radioisotope fume hoods
- Gas burners — Bunsen burners; Laminar flow burners; Meker burners
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatography equipment
- Gas detectors — Gas leak detectors
- Gas masks — Canister gas masks
- Geiger counters — Geiger-Muller counters
- Glass crucibles — Glass laboratory crucibles
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Gravimeters — Gravitational field indicators
- Handheld thermometer — Beckmann thermometers; Digital handheld thermometers
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Hazardous material protective clothing
- Heating mantles or tapes — Heating mantles
- Heating or drying equipment or accessories — Dessicators; Steam baths
- High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
- High pressure sodium lamp HID — High pressure sodium lamps
- Hot air blowers
- Immersion heaters
- Inductively coupled plasma ICP spectrometers — Atomic emissions spectroscopes
- Infrared lamps
- Infrared spectrometers — Fourier transfer infrared FTIR spectrometers; Infrared IR spectroscopes
- Ion analyzers — Photo detectors
- Ion chromatographs — Ion exchange chromatography equipment
- Laboratory balances — Single-pan balances; Torsion balances; Unequal-arm balances; Westphal balances
- Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers — Laboratory blenders
- Laboratory box furnaces — Muffle furnaces
- Laboratory burets — Glass burets
- Laboratory centrifugal pumps
- Laboratory clamps — Test tube clamps; Utility clamps
- Laboratory cork borers — Cork borer sets
- Laboratory crushers or pulverizers — Sample crushers
- Laboratory dishes — Evaporating dishes
- Laboratory flasks — Claisen flasks; Reaction flasks; Vacuum flask traps; Volumetric flasks
- Laboratory funnels — Buchner funnels; Hirsch funnels
- Laboratory general purpose tubing — Capillary tubing; Gas drying tubes
- Laboratory glass tube — Glass tubing
- Laboratory heat exchange condensers — Distilling condensers; Reflux condensers
- Laboratory hotplates — Laboratory heating plates
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — Gravity convection ovens
- Laboratory mills — Ball mills
- Laboratory mixers — Agitation tanks; Magnetic agitators
- Laboratory presses — Laboratory pressing equipment
- Laboratory sprayers — Nebulizers
- Laboratory staining dishes or jars — Bell jars
- Laboratory tongs
- Laboratory vacuum pumps — Computer-controlled pumps; Diffusion pumps; Volume displacement pumps; Water aspirators (see all 5 examples)
- Lasers — Dye lasers; Ruby lasers
- Liquid chromatographs — Liquid chromatography equipment
- Liquid scintillation counters — Fluid scintillation counters
- Magnetic stirrers — Magnetic stirring bars
- Mainframe computers
- Manometers — Closed-end manometers; U-tube manometers
- Manostats — Cartesian manostats
- Mass spectrometers — Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry LC/MS equipment
- Mercury vapor lamp HID — Mercury vapor lamps
- Metering pumps
- Multi gas monitors — Vapor monitor badges
- Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers — Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes
- Optical beamsplitters — Optical beamsplitting devices
- Organic carbon analyzers
- Pasteur or transfer pipettes — Transfer pipettes
- Peristaltic pumps — Liquid transfer pumps
- Personal computers
- Pestle or mortars — Mortars and pestles
- pH meters — pH indicators
- Photoelectric sensors — Photocells
- Photometer — Flame photometers
- Pipette washers — Automatic buret cleaners; Automatic pipette cleaners
- Polarimeters — Automated polarimeters
- Pressure indicators — Bourdon gauges; Pressure gauges
- Programmable tube furnaces — Graphite furnaces
- Protective gloves — Asbestos gloves; Safety gloves
- Pull spring balances
- Pyrometers — Optical pyrometers
- Radiation detectors
- Refrigerated baths — Cooling baths
- Refrigerated cooling modules — Refrigerated coolers
- Remote reading thermometers — Liquid-filled remote thermometers
- Respirators — Dust and particulate respirators
- Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Automatic burets
- Safety glasses
- Scientific calculator — Graphing calculators
- Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — Fluorimeters; Ultraviolet UV spectroscopes
- Spectrophotometer accessories — Deuterium lamps; Hollow cathode lamps
- Syringe pumps — Finger pumps
- Tensiometers — Tension gauges
- Thermal conductivity analyzers — Thermal conductivity detectors
- Thin layer chromatography tanks — Chromatography developing tanks
- Thinlayer chromatographs — Thinlayer chromatography analyzers
- Titration equipment — Autotitrators; Titrators
- Triple beam balances
- Ultraviolet UV lamps
- Vacuum desiccators — Drying pistols
- Vacuum gauges — Ionization gauges; McLeod gauges; Pirani gauges
- Vacuum or rotary evaporators — Evaporator rotators; Rotary evaporators
- Viscosimeters — Automated microviscometers; Viscosity meters
- Voltage or current meters — Voltmeters
- Volumetric pipettes — Volumetric glass pipettes
- Water baths — Constant temperature water baths
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- 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.
- 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 Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze chemical compounds or substances.
- Clean objects.
- Maintain laboratory or technical equipment.
- Evaluate quality of materials or products.
- Prepare compounds or solutions for products or testing.
- Set up laboratory or field equipment.
- Interpret research or operational data.
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Manage scientific or technical project resources.
- Operate laboratory or field equipment.
- Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
- Develop new or advanced products or production methods.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 88% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 23% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 42% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Consequence of Error
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Very important results.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Spend Time Standing — 63% responded “More than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 25% responded “Never.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 30% responded “Slightly competitive.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 60% responded “Some freedom.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 27% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 15% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: IRC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$23.95 hourly, $49,820 annual|
|Employment (2020)||65,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||7,500|
|Top industries (2020)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.