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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Laboratory Technicians in Columbia, South Carolina

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for chemical laboratory technicians in the Columbia, South Carolina area. About 1,590 people are currently employed as chemical laboratory technicians in South Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow 5% to 1,680 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chemical laboratory technicians are expected to shrink by about 0.8%. 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.

A person working as a chemical laboratory technician can expect to earn about $21 hourly or $44,500 per year on average in South Carolina and about $20 per hour or $42,120 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for chemical laboratory technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Science Technical in South Carolina and not quite as good as general Physical Science Technical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: spectrograph operator, grey goods tester, and environmental lab technician.

The Columbia area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a chemical laboratory technician. Given that the most common education level for chemical laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Laboratory Technician Training

Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year program in Chemical Technology/Technician 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: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.