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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Laboratory Technicians in Seattle, Washington

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for chemical laboratory technicians in the Seattle, Washington area. Currently, 980 people work as chemical laboratory technicians in Washington. This is expected to grow 20% to about 1,170 people 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.

Chemical laboratory technicians earn approximately $19 per hour or $40,070 per year on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $20 per hour or $42,120 yearly. Earnings for chemical laboratory technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Science Technical in Washington and not quite as good as general Physical Science Technical category earnings nationally. Chemical laboratory technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: bleach analyst, environmental lab technician, and cosmetic chemist.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a chemical laboratory technician. Chemical laboratory technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Seattle 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Laboratory Technician Training

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has an associate's degree program in Chemical Technology/Technician which graduated one student 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.