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.
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People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 750
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.
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
Source: 2016 Census
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/about/csct.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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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.
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.