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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Laboratory Technicians in Portland, Oregon

For those living in the Portland, Oregon area, there are many career and education opportunities for chemical laboratory technicians. There are currently 370 jobs for chemical laboratory technicians in Oregon and this is projected to grow 13% to about 420 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. Chemical laboratory technicians generally 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.

The income of a chemical laboratory technician is about $17 hourly or $36,890 annually on average in Oregon. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $20 per hour or $42,120 annually on average. Chemical laboratory technicians earn less than people working in the category of Physical Science Technical generally in Oregon and less than people in the Physical Science Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: formulation technician, forensic chemist, and spectrograph operator.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a chemical laboratory technician. Given that the most common education level for chemical laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Portland 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Laboratory Technician Training

Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has an associate's degree program in Food Science which graduated three students 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: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.