A science technician that is focused on the chemical aspect of products is known as a process technician. Process technicians typically work in factories or processing plants and oversee production of goods, testing packaging, the integrity of used materials and possible effects. They are also commonly responsible for ensuring quality, and developing and improving the production process.
Average Salary Scale From Top to Bottom
In 2009, the average salary for chemical and process technicians was $43,900 a year, according to a salary survey by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most technicians made between $32,640 and $53,490 a year, falling into the middle 50th percentile. Lower wage earners, perhaps those with little experience, made less than $26,170 a year, comprising of the bottom 10th percentile. Process technicians at the top of their field may have made it into the top 10th percentile and earned more than $65,490 a year.
Salaries Around the Country
Average wages for processing technicians varied significantly in different areas, possibly due to cost of living, demand for technicians and overall economic conditions. For example, in Wyoming, technicians only made $37,260 a year on average, noticeably lower than the national average. West Virginia also reported lower wages at an average of $38,470 a year. On the other side of the pay scale, process technicians in Louisiana, Delaware and Hawaii earned between $52,310 and $56,400 a year on average. New Mexico was the highest paying state in the 2009 report, boasting an annual mean wage of $61,350.
Type of Process or Industry
Many process technicians work for architectural and engineering firms for an average wage of $35,540 a year. Those working for companies that manufacture resin, rubber and synthetic fibers were paid $48,210 a year on average, and those working in pharmaceutical and medicine environments made $46,740 a year. However, the highest paying employers were electric power companies, where process technicians could expect an annual mean wage of $58,420 in 2009.
Positions involving research and development may require the technicians to possess a bachelor's degree. However, those with a two-year associate degree hold most jobs. The most common field of study is process technology, although other sciences are acceptable as well. Certification is not required but is advantageous in the competitive job market. High levels of competency in writing are also important, as process technicians typically document all findings.