CAREER GUIDE FOR CHEMICAL TECHNICIAN
SOC Code: 19-4031
Pay Band(s): 3 (Salary Structure)
Standard Occupational Description: Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for purposes, such as 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.
Chemical Technician positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Laboratory and Research Career Group:
While Chemical Technicians within the Commonwealth are all located within the Laboratory and Research Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:
SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS
(Technical and Functional Expertise)
The Knowledge of:
The Ability to:
Note: The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Chemical Technicians. Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. T
Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics. These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation. When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.
The occupation of Chemical Technician has Realistic, Investigative and Conventional characteristics as described below:
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.
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.
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.
LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Generally this is not required for Chemical Technician positions in state government.
EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The Department of Labor provides the following information:
Chemical technicians work with chemists and chemical engineers, developing and using chemicals and related products and equipment. Generally, there are two types of chemical technicians—research and development technicians who work in experimental laboratories, and process control technicians who work in manufacturing or other industrial plants.
Many employers prefer applicants who have at least 2 years of specialized training or an associate degree in applied science or science-related technology. Because employers' preferences vary, however, some chemical technicians have a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, or forensic science, or have taken several science and math courses at 4-year colleges.
Most chemical process technicians have a 2-year degree, usually an associate degree in process technology, although in some cases a high school diploma is sufficient. They usually receive additional on-the- job training. Entry-level workers whose college training encompasses extensive hands-on experience with a variety of diagnostic laboratory equipment usually require less on-the-job training. Those with a high school diploma typically begin work as trainees under the direct supervision of a more experienced process technician. Many with only a high school diploma eventually earn a 2-year degree in process technology, often paid for by their employer.
There are 4 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Apprenticeship information for chemical technician can be found on the Department of Labor & Industry's web site at: http://www.dli.state.va.us/
Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured. When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work. Competencies help lay out a road map to career success. You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.
The Commonwealth Competencies are:
The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job. The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences.
Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others. Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!
For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.virginia.gov/cc_planningctr.htm. For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each. Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like.
COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH
Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor. That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills. For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group. The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)
For example: Chemical Technician
Sample Career Path
Laboratory and Research Specialist I
The Laboratory and Research Specialist I role provides career tracks for assistants to chemists, microbiologists and other scientists who support in the performance of various technical, scientific or analytical activities for clinical, research, regulatory or laboratory programs. Laboratory and research support responsibilities range from journey-level to advanced-level.
Laboratory and Research Specialist II
The Laboratory and Research specialist II role provides career tracks for laboratory specialists and research specialists performing advanced to expert level responsibilities and for supervisors in a laboratory, field setting or for scientific research. The first track is for positions conducting complex scientific procedures or research for a laboratory or program manager, principal investigator or project director. The second track is for laboratory and research specialists who continue to deliver scientific services while assuming additional supervisory and administrative responsibilities.
Laboratory and Research Manager
The Laboratory and Research Manager role provides career tracks for managers of laboratories in a teaching, research, clinical, service or regulatory setting. Employees are responsible for making administrative decisions related to all laboratory operations and exercise broad-based administrative responsibility for all laboratory functions and personnel.
ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT:
O*NET (Occupational Information Network)
Career One Stop
Virginia Career Resource Network
American Chemical Society: