Chemical technologists and technicians (NOC 2211)

Minimum education: College or apprenticeship

  • Average salary
    30.7%
  • Occupation size
    64.0%
  • Job stability
    59.0%
  • Demand growth
    64.0%
  • Below Average
  • Excellent

Profile last updated: December 3, 2015

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01 Overview

Chemical technologists and technicians provide technical support and services or may work independently in chemical engineering, chemical and biochemical research and analysis, industrial chemistry, chemical quality control and environmental protection.

People in this occupation:

  • are employed by research and development and quality control laboratories, consulting engineering companies, in chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and a variety of other manufacturing and processing industries, and by utilities and health, education and government establishments
  • should have a strong background in chemistry, physics and math
  • should have the ability to draw conclusions from data and communicate technical information clearly
  • should also be patient and persistent and have a good eye for detail
  • must have problem-solving skills

02 Earnings

Provincial median salary

$44,840

Source: Estimated median employment income based on 2015 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • $13.00/hr
    Low
  • $21.50/hr
    Median
  • $45.67/hr
    High

03 Duties

Chemical technologists and technicians 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.

04 Work environment

Chemical technologists and technicians generally work 35 to 40 hours per week, however, evening and weekend shifts may be required to meet deadlines. Most work is performed indoors in labs or processing plants, although outdoor work may be necessary to take environmental samples and conduct site inspections.

Chemical technologists and technicians may work alone or as part of a team. Workers are often required to stand for extended periods of time and may be exposed to odours, toxic fumes and other hazardous substances, so workers follow safety procedures in order to limit risks

05 Workforce and employment statistics

Workforce characteristics

2,800 workers are employed
53 % of workers are working mostly full time

Employment by gender

Labour force by age group

Source: 2011 National Household Survey

06 Job requirements

Education, training and qualifications

Chemical technologists and chemical technicians are usually required to have completed a one to three-year college program in chemical, biochemical or chemical engineering technology or a related discipline. However, some chemical technologists and technicians working in chemistry or biochemistry research are university graduates.

Professional certification for chemical technologists and technicians is available through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC). Completion of an accredited diploma program and two years of industry work experience are required for an Applied Science Technologist (AScT) designation and completion of an accredited certificate program and two years of industry work experience are required for Certified Technician (CTech) designation.

Certification with ASTTBC is transferable between provinces. For more information, please visit the ASTTBC website at www.asttbc.org.

Certification for chemical technologists is also available through the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (CSCT). Designation as a Certified Chemical Technologist (cCt) normally requires graduation from an accredited program and at least two years of industry work experience. For more information, please visit the CSCT website at: http://www.cheminst.ca/fr/cct

For program information on public post-secondary education in B.C., please see the Education Planner website at: www.educationplanner.ca.

07 Subject Areas & Training Resources

Education Planner

www.educationplanner.ca

08 Career paths

Chemical technologists and technicians may progress to managerial positions (i.e., supervisors, managers, project managers) with experience. There is also a lot of mobility among the different jobs in this occupational group.

09Employment outlook

Provincial and Regional Outlook data used for this occupation is based on its occupation group: Technical occupations in physical sciences (NOC 221)

N/A - Data not available or not provided due to data quality issues

Provincial Outlook:

Unemployment rate

  • 5.7%
    2014
  • 5.7%
    2019
  • 4.8%
    2024

Competitiveness of job market

Ratio of number of unemployed people to the number of total job openings.

  • 0:0
    2014
  • 2:1
    2019
  • 2:1
    2024

10 Insights from industry

The majority of the jobs that will become available will come from the need to replace workers who retire. However, there is currently strong demand in this industry for skilled technical professionals in this occupation.

The largest employer of chemical technologists and technicians in B.C. is the Manufacturing industry. Within this industry, Rubber, plastics and chemicals manufacturing will likely see growth in the future. Pulp and paper manufacturing may experience further consolidation as older mills are phased out and newer, state-of-the-art mills remain. This could limit demand for workers in this sector, although prospects could change if more pulp mills are retrofitted for the production of specialty chemicals, bioenergy and biofuels.

Demand for workers in the Professional business services industry is tied to a wide variety of other industries, such as the resource sector, manufacturing, real estate development and health care services. Employment growth in this industry is expected to follow overall growth in the provincial economy. Demand for workers in the Rubber, plastics and chemicals industry will likely see growth in the future.

An area of employment growth for these workers is environmental services. The growing prominence of environmental issues for federal, provincial and municipal government agencies will create employment opportunities in monitoring and regulatory services that involve chemical sampling and analysis.

Improvements in automation technology may somewhat reduce the demand for chemical technologists and technicians. Basic instrumentation skills are increasingly required in order to maintain and troubleshoot these pieces of equipment.

11 Additional resources