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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Laboratory Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for chemical laboratory technicians in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 990 jobs for chemical laboratory technicians in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 12% to about 1,110 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for chemical laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 0.8% over the next eight years. In general, chemical laboratory technicians 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.

Income for chemical laboratory technicians is about $23 hourly or $47,980 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $20 hourly or $42,120 annually. Chemical laboratory technicians earn less than people working in the category of Physical Science Technical generally in Maryland and less than people in the Physical Science Technical category nationally. People working as chemical laboratory technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: pilot plant operator, research associate, and rayon tester.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a chemical laboratory technician, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Chemical laboratory technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a chemical laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, chemical laboratory technicians 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 laboratory technicians maintain and sterilize laboratory instruments and equipment. They also compile and interpret results of tests and analyses. Finally, chemical laboratory technicians order and inventory materials to maintain supplies.

Every day, chemical laboratory technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for chemical laboratory technicians to furnish and maintain a safe work environment by participating in safety programs or teams, and by conducting laboratory and plant safety audits. They are often called upon to conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to help scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids and gaseous materials. They also ready chemical solutions for products and processes following standardized formulas, or develop experimental formulas. They are sometimes expected to monitor product quality to insure compliance to standards and specifications. Somewhat less frequently, chemical laboratory technicians are also expected to layout and fabricate experimental apparatus to evolve new products and processes.

Chemical laboratory technicians sometimes are asked to furnish technical support and assistance to chemists and engineers. They also have to be able to order and inventory materials to maintain supplies And finally, they sometimes have to direct or monitor other staff producing chemical products.

Like many other jobs, chemical laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Laboratory Technician Training

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year program in Chemical Technology/Technician.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Food Science which graduated seven, two, and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist: RELT -- Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist is a special registration/certification for persons engaged in the laboratory management and/or analysis of environmental samples.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialist: Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialists are those individuals who have met minimum standards of experience, knowledge and written examination requirements as established by the STLE Metalworking Fluids Certification Committee to provide technical consultation in the field of metalworking fluids management.

For more information, see the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.