Apprentice chemical engineering technicians support chemical engineers in research, development, and manufacture. As a result, they produce a wide range of chemical-based substances. These include dyeing agents, fertilisers, fuels, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- help to design, build or install production plant equipment
- carry out laboratory experiments to develop new products
- monitor production processes
- record data and make adjustments to machinery
- carry out maintenance checks and make repairs
- make sure safety procedures are followed
- carry out quality control checks.
- Starting salaries for an apprentice is £18,000 per year.
- Experienced chemical engineering technicians can earn up to £40,000 per year.
You will typically work 37 to 42 hours per week, working evenings, weekends, bank holidays on shifts.
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.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice chemical engineering technician include:
- Level 3 Science Manufacturing Technician – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification will take 27 months to complete.
On a chemical engineering technician apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- 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.
Career path and progression
With experience, you may work your way up to shift supervisor, maintenance, or production management.
You might also work in product design and development, quality assurance, or sales and marketing.