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Chemical engineering technician

Chemical engineering technicians help to research, develop and manufacture plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 1% more Chemical engineering technician jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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 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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry
For more information

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

Entry requirements

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
For more information

You can complete a laboratory technician or science manufacturing technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Institution of Chemical Engineers for professional development opportunities.

Further information

You can get more advice about careers and training in the chemical industry from the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Cogent Skills.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • science skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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