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Chemical engineering technician

Chemical engineering technicians work with chemical engineers to research, develop and manufacture products like plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need to complete a college course in chemistry or engineering and then apply to a company for a trainee position. 

You’ll need colour-normal vision and no skin allergies for some jobs. 

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and Cogent Skills have more information about a career in the chemicals industry.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • chemistry and maths skills
  • spoken and written communication skills
  • the ability to understand and present scientific data
  • excellent IT skills
  • problem-solving ability

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • helping to design, build or install production plant equipment
  • carrying out laboratory experiments to develop new products
    monitoring production processes
  • recording data and making adjustments to machinery
  • carrying out maintenance checks and making repairs
  • making sure safety procedures are followed
  • carrying out quality control checks

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £24,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week.

In research and development, you might work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime.

In processing and manufacturing, you might work on a shift system that includes weekends, evenings and nights.

You’ll be based in a laboratory, office or process plant. In the mineral processing or oil exploration industries, you might be based in a remote part of the world.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a shift supervisor, eventually moving into maintenance or production management. 

You could also move into materials development and design, quality control or sales and marketing.

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Last updated: 22 December 2016