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What does a Chemical Technologist do?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A chemical technologist works on the design and development of processes and equipment for the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, science, and engineering industries. A person in this field may conduct chemical experiments and provide technical services for a wide range of industries as well. A chemical technologist may even help design equipment for use in experimentation. Often, a person in this field works to assist chemists, engineers, and other scientists, but this is not always the case; some chemical technologists also work independently.

A chemical technologist is typically charged with combining science with creativity to find ways to make processes, products, and even the quality of human life better. To this end, a chemical technologist may work to use new materials as well as elements of matter to design and develop while keeping safety and efficiency in mind. Some chemical technologists help develop systems for food processing and packaging as well as products for use in the food industry. Others may work to making heating and cooling more efficient or to develop ways of powering cars. In fact, a chemical technologist may even work to turn garbage into new, usable products.

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The tasks a chemical technologist performs may depend on the industry in which he works and what his employer requires him to do. In general, however, a person with this title is responsible for preparing and conducting experiments; preparing and analyzing samples; creating designs for operation improvement; using and maintaining laboratory equipment; and helping to develop engineering processes. A chemical technologist may also assist in quality control procedures and help operate plants. Some chemical technologists work independently while others work in teams.

To become a chemical technologist, a person usually has to earn a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma before going on to seek additional education. Many employers prefer to hire chemical technologists who've complete at least two to three years of education in chemical or biochemical technology, and some may prefer those with bachelor's degrees. Alternatively, a person who is interested in this career may enroll in a chemical engineering technology program or pursue a related major. Some employers may prefer applicants who've earned certification in chemical technology or a related field, and some may even require it. Interestingly, however, a person who wants to seek certification may need to gain at least a couple of years of supervised work experience to be eligible for certification.

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