Overview of Chemical Technology Associate's Degree Programs
Earning an associate's degree in chemical technology prepares graduates to enter the workforce as a technician. Students will learn about laboratory procedures, how to conduct tests and how to produce materials. They will also have strong writing skills, which are needed for working as technicians or chemists. The scientific method of research will be reinforced through practical assignments and laboratory experiments. Students will also learn safe handling of chemicals and laboratory procedures so that they are ready to begin work in a laboratory setting after graduation.
Admission Requirements for Chemical Technology Programs
Some colleges that offer an associate's degree in chemical technology have minimal admission requirements. Students must be 18 and have a high school diploma or GED to be considered. Other schools review high school transcripts and standardized test scores as part of the admission requirements. In some cases, students are required to submit an application essay, while other schools consider other factors, such as extracurricular participation. It may not be necessary to take chemistry in high school to be accepted to this program, but it is recommended that students pursuing chemical technology studies complete courses in both mathematics and chemistry during high school.
Chemical Technology Program Coursework
Students pursuing an associate's degree in chemical technology will be required to take a high volume of chemistry courses. In addition to those classes, some programs offer a range of electives. Students can opt to include courses that focus on healthcare, environmental issues, or other subjects related to chemical technology.
What are the rules that govern chemistry? Students will be taught the core principles of chemistry. They will learn about various materials in different states. They will also learn about chemical processes that can affect certain materials, such as oxidation.
Strong writing skills are important for chemical technicians, since they must document their work and produce technical materials. Students are usually required to take a composition course that emphasizes writing skills. They learn about different types of sentence structures, gain experience writing essays and learn how to effectively research a topic.
The standard methodology of scientific research is reinforced during the exploration of environmental science. Students will learn about how chemistry is related to environmental issues. They will study factors that affect the environment, such as pollution, and learn to develop informed conclusions about environmental topics through observation, experiments and analysis.
Organic chemistry studies build on an understanding of basic chemistry. Students learn about different organic compounds. They also gain practical knowledge about these compounds and their behavior through laboratory experiments.
Students develop computer skills related to the field of chemistry. They use different programs to gather or produce data for chemical analysis. Students are also introduced to different methods of analysis. They also learn how to produce specific types of analyses, such as volumetric analysis.
Introduction to Biotechnology
What is biotechnology and how is biotechnology affecting the healthcare industry? Students will learn about the technologies used in this field. They will also explore the ethical issues related to biotechnology. Students will gain practical experience documenting their activities while performing practical tasks.
How to Choose an Associate's Degree in Chemical Technology Program
There are many schools that offer associate's degrees in chemical technology, so location may be one of the primary factors that influences students when choosing a program. Some programs are designed to offer students the option of continuing studies and earning a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Students who are considering extending their studies may favor programs that are designed to offer that option. Other key considerations may include the range of elective courses offered. Those interested in working in healthcare or pharmaceutical fields may favor schools that offer electives with a focus on the application of chemical technology in those industries, while those considering a future as an environmental technician may opt to choose a program with environmental studies.
Career Options with a Chemical Technology Associate's Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chemical technicians earned a median income of $45,840 per year in 2016. From 2016 to 2026 the BLS expects that they will see jobs increase by 4%. Individuals who graduate with an associate's degree in chemical technology are prepared to work in laboratory environments in a number of fields, and they may also pursue related types of work, such as the following: