Career outlook for chemical engineering technician

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£31,200

Currently employed in Scotland

9,900

Average UK salary

£31,200

Currently employed in Scotland

9,900

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would work with chemical engineers on the research, development and manufacture of products such as plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.

Depending on which part of a plant you work in, you would:

  • Help to design, build or install production plant equipment
  • Carry out laboratory experiments to develop new products
  • Check production processes, using measuring and control instruments
  • Record data and make adjustments to machinery
  • Do maintenance checks and make repairs
  • Make sure safety procedures are followed
  • Do quality control checks.

With experience, you could work as a shift manager and supervise chemical plant process workers.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work between 37 and 40 hours a week. In research and development, you might work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime. In processing and manufacturing, you might work on a shift system that includes weekends, evenings and nights.

Environment

You could be based in a laboratory, office or process plant.

Travel

In the mineral processing or oil exploration industries, you might be based in remote parts of the world for the duration of a contract.

UK employment status

Full-time

90%

Part-time

5%

Self employed

6%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Evaluating
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Filtering
  • Developing a plan
  • Analysing

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at What are my skills?

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

A Modern Apprenticeship with a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Engineering (SVQ level 3/4), Oil and Gas Production (SVQ level 3) or Gas Industry (SVQ level 2/3) such as:

  • Process Operations Modern Apprenticeship
  • Oil & Gas Production Modern Apprenticeship
  • Engineering Modern Apprenticeship

A Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) such as Engineering, Applied Chemistry or Engineering technologies to enter as a trainee.

Entry requirements vary but many employers ask for qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6 when applying to a Modern Apprenticeship.

You can enter some National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2 to 6) with no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications. 

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Science subjects in particular chemistry, physics (required by many courses and employers)
  • Technologies subjects (required by many courses and employers)
  • English
  • Engineering science

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate understanding and experience of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCQF level 5).

Once in a job with further training, you could qualify as a chemical engineer. Training could include a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCQF level 9/10) in chemical engineering, applied chemistry or engineering technologies.