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How to become a Chemical Engineering Technician

chemical engineering technician careers

What does a Chemical Engineering Technician do?

Chemical engineering technicians, often known as process engineering technicians, are involved in the manufacture of a huge range of products and chemicals, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and drink and artificial fibres, and in the production of energy and fuel.

Supporting the work of chemical engineers, technicians can be employed in any area of process engingeering such as research and development, design, plant construction or operations and maintenance. Duties could include:

  • working as part of the team designing, constructing and installing production plant machinery
  • using computer models and simulations to translate laboratory formulae and discoveries into large-scale processes
  • operating, testing and maintaining the plant and machinery
  • monitoring production processes, recording data and adjusting controls
  • supervising operatives and scheduling work
  • preparing and implementing safety procedures.
Initially, they work under close supervision, probably in operations and maintenance on existing plant apparatus, before progressing to designing and commissioning new plant.

What's the working environment like working as a Chemical Engineering Technician?

Chemical engineering technicians do not always work standard hours, and may have to work shifts covering early mornings, nights and weekends. They may be working in a plant that is operating 24 hours a day, or be part of a project team installing or commissioning a factory or plant to strict deadlines.

A 37-hour week is normal in laboratories and research establishments. However, working hours and conditions would change considerably if working on a development project.

Work could also be on plant construction sites, or in mineral processing or oil exploration, and may be based in remote parts of the world.

What does it take to become a Chemical Engineering Technician?

To be a chemical engineering technician, you should:

  • have a good working knowledge of chemistry and maths
  • understand engineering principles
  • be able to express ideas and conclusions in writing
  • be able to submit data in a clear and effective way
  • have computer literacy skills of a very high standard
  • pay meticulous attention to detail
  • have an enquiring mind, intent on finding solutions to problems
  • understand computer-aided design
  • be a good team worker, but with a degree of initiative
  • have normal colour vision.

Chemical Engineering Technician Career Opportunities

There are opportunities for chemical engineering technicians across a wide range of industries. Some of the main ones, apart from the chemical industry itself, include manufacturing, food, energy, marine, and medical. Employers include the armed services, manufacturers in all industries, research and development companies, and public utilities such as water, gas and electricity.

There are also opportunities with manufacturers in materials development and design, marketing, selling and customer support.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Chemical Engineering Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

Cogent (Sector Skills Council for Chemicals, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Petroleum and Polymers)
Minerva House
Bruntland Road
AB12 4QL
Tel: 01224 787800

Institution of Chemical Engineers
165-189 Railway Terrace
CV21 3HQ
Tel: 01788 578214

The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Savoy Place
Tel: 020 7240 1871

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
Tel: 020 7227 8421

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Courses to help you become a Chemical Engineering Technician