Chemical engineering technician

Chemical engineering technicians help to research, develop and manufacture plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a chemical engineering technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You can do a foundation degree in chemistry or higher national certificate in applied science chemistry.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 2 or 3 A levels, including chemistry

More information


You can take a college course before applying to a company for a trainee job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate In Applied Science and Technology
  • Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science
  • Chemistry A level

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You can complete a laboratory technician or science manufacturing technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Institution of Chemical Engineers for professional development opportunities.

Further information

You can get more advice about careers and training in the chemical industry from the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Cogent Skills.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • helping to design, build or install production plant equipment
  • carrying out laboratory experiments to develop new products
  • monitoring production processes
  • recording data and making adjustments to machinery
  • carrying out maintenance checks and making repairs
  • making sure safety procedures are followed
  • carrying out quality control checks

Working environment

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in an office or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a shift supervisor, eventually moving into maintenance or production management. 

You could also move into materials development and design, quality control or sales and marketing.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Laboratory Technician Apprentice Level 3

  • Wage : £128.41 Weekly
  • Location: Stroud GL6 7DY

Lab Technician Apprentice

  • Wage : £14,073.00 Annually
  • Location: Sidcup DA15 9NU

Courses In England

Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship ( Level 2)

  • Provider: Blackburn College
  • Start date: 03 September 2020
  • Location: BLACKBURN

Manufacturing Engineering HND (Level 5)

  • Provider: Nottingham College
  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: Nottingham

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