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Teachers and Instructors - Overview


Chemical technology programs prepare people to use science and math to do chemical research. Students learn physical chemistry and math. They also learn methods for conducting research in labs.

If you think you have no relation to chemical technology, think again. A lot depends on chemical technicians: the purity of your food, the effectiveness of the medicines you take, the quality of the air you breathe, the durability of the artificial fibers in your sneakers - to name but a few.

When you study chemical technology, you obviously take a lot of courses in chemistry. These courses include labs, where you get experience working with a variety of equipment. You learn how to analyze compounds. You learn how to measure the results of reactions. You become used to the safety procedures that are necessary. And you learn how to write lab reports.

You also study the math that is necessary to understand chemical reactions. You learn about the properties of atoms that determine the nature of the chemical elements. You study principles of physics.

Two years of full-time study beyond high school can earn you an associate degree in this field. This is usually what you need to work as a chemical technician. About 40 community and technical colleges offer this degree.

As a chemical technician you may find work in a variety of industries. The pharmaceutical, rubber, paint, petroleum, and dye industries are just a few. You may collect and analyze samples of air and water to test for pollution. You may work in basic research with scientists who are developing new compounds. Or you may help chemical engineers improve the processing of chemicals.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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