Chemical engineering technicians help to research, develop and manufacture plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.
Salary range: £18,000 to £35,000
How to become a chemical engineering technician
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
You can do a foundation degree in chemistry or higher national certificate in applied science chemistry.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can take a college course before applying to a company for a trainee job. Relevant courses include:
- Level 2 Certificate In Applied Science and Technology
- Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills
- Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science
- Chemistry A level
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You can complete a laboratory technician or science manufacturing technician advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Institution of Chemical Engineers for professional development opportunities.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
- complex problem-solving skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- design skills and knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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
You could work at a manufacturing plant, in an office or in a laboratory.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
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.