Chemistry Technicians

ANZSCO ID 311411

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
3,900
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
79%
Female Share
54%
Average age
40

Summary

Chemistry Technicians perform laboratory tests on organic and inorganic chemicals, analyse test data and carry out technical functions in support of Chemists or Chemical Engineers in a wide variety of areas such as fuels, agricultural products, food, pharmaceuticals, paints, metals, plastics, textiles, detergents, paper, fertilisers and cosmetics.

Also known as: Chemistry Technical Officer.

Specialisations: Chemical Instrumentation Officer, Chemical Process Analyst, Chemistry Laboratory Technician, Dairy Laboratory Technician, Petroleum Laboratory Technician, Sugar Laboratory Assistant.

Extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related field (like chemistry, laboratory skills or laboratory technology) is needed to work as a Chemistry Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Tasks

  • Prepares materials for experimentation, including freezing and slicing specimens and mixing chemicals.

  • Collects information and samples.

  • Conducts field and laboratory experiments, tests and analyses.

  • Presents results in graphic or written form by preparing maps charts, sketches, diagrams and reports.

  • Performs routine mathematical calculations and computations of measurement.

  • Controls the quality and quantity of laboratory supplies by testing samples and monitoring usage.

  • Checks, calibrates and maintains test equipment.

  • Participates in fabricating, installing and modifying equipment to ensure that critical standards are met.

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Science Technicians, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 79% of people employed as Chemistry Technicians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 13 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Manufacturing
45.1%
2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
20.7%
3
Education and Training
6.0%
4
Mining
3.2%
5
Other industries
20.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

25.7% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

32.4% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.7% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

9.2% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

11.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Chemistry Technicians All Jobs Average
NSW 25.7 31.6
VIC 32.4 25.6
QLD 17.7 20.0
SA 9.2 7.0
WA 11.0 10.8
TAS 2.6 2.0
NT 0.5 1.0
ACT 0.9 1.9


  • Around 60% of Chemistry Technicians live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.

    Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
40
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
54%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Chemistry Technicians is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 54% of the workforce. This is 6 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Chemistry Technicians All Jobs Average
15-19 1.5 5.0
20-24 8.6 9.3
25-34 27.8 22.9
35-44 22.2 22.0
45-54 22.5 21.6
55-59 9.0 9.0
60-64 6.0 6.0
65 and Over 2.5 4.2
Median Age 40 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related field (like chemistry, laboratory skills or laboratory technology) is needed to work as a Chemistry Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Laboratory Operations, Food Processing and Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Chemistry Technicians All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 11.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 32.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 13.3 11.6
Certificate III/IV 16.7 21.1
Year 12 14.6 18.1
Year 11 3.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 7.6 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Science Technicians who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 55%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 54%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 48%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 46%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 46%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 46%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 45%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 45%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 45%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 43%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 43%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 39%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 39%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 66%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 49%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 43%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 40%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 33%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 32%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 30%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 29%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 27%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 26%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 26%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 18%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 16%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 16%

    Food production

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  • 15%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 13%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 13%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 11%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 9%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 5%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 55%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 54%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 54%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 54%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 54%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 45%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 45%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 45%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 45%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 43%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 43%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 43%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 41%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 77%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 74%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 73%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 71%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 70%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 68%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 66%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 63%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 63%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 63%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 63%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 62%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 58%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 58%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 58%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 56%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 54%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 51%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 49%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 41%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 86%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 81%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 57%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 29%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 76%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 52%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 52%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 48%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 43%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 94%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 93%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 91%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 89%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 89%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 86%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 83%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 82%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 82%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 81%

    Pace of work set by equipment

    Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.

  • 80%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 79%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 79%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 76%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 75%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 75%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 72%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-4031.00 - Chemical Technicians.


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