This will take awhile. A Chem. Lab. diploma offers the most versatility of any college diploma. This includes job opportunities as well as further educational opportunities. Chemistry is the central science. Check out the following possibilities.
Pharmaceuticals: Do you know how drugs are made? Tested? Produced? Sold? Whether one looks at the fundamental synthesis of a new drug, the biochemical related trials, the production process or sales, Chem. Technologists are involved. With the level of organic that we deliver this is definitely a possibility for our grads.
Medical or Clinical Setting: Our program is not medical laboratory. But the fact our chem. Tech's can perform almost any test that a Medical Laboratory Technologist does. We do have grads working in clinical settings. For instance, a company that is developing a new vaccine will require a battery of tests and analyses to be performed. This might include wet methods, chromatography (either HPLC or GC) with a variety of detectors (UV, MS, ECD, TCD, NMR, RID, IR etc...) ion selective electrodes, calorimetry, polarimetry and more. Our grads do this!
Plastics and Polymers: This is also a vast industry in the world today. These materials are absolutely everywhere. How are they made? What properties do they have? What are the newest methods to manipulate or construct them? Universities, Colleges and Companies are actively researching new polymers and plastics for a number of end uses. Chem. Techs play a vital role here as well.
Metals: Originally we would simply talk about steel and steel companies but in today's world the word steel has been replaced with simply metals. Consider pure metals like copper, iron, silver, platinum, gold, titanium, tungsten etc...all which have to be purified, manipulated and turned into a variety of end products. Also consider alloys like stainless steel and brass, and what about the large variety of castings that contain mixtures of metals like aluminum, cobalt and chromium. Whether industry is coming up with a new composite or alloy to serve some particular end or they are working out the kinks in the actual production process Chem. Techs work here too.
Materials: Plastics and Polymers as well as Metals are such large industries they were mentioned separately. But we are not done with substances the world utilizes. What about silicon used in computer circuit boards? What about the search and application of superconducting material? What about the quickly growing class of materials known as ceramics (not simply the cute ceramics of figurines in a craft shop)? What about liquid crystal display technology or plasma TV technology? What about the photocopying industry and the materials they play with? Chem. Techs are here too.
Mining: What is the % copper in a given lot of ore? Iron? Gold? Silver? Mercury? Palladium? Sulphur? Phosphorous? etc. What about minerals? Quartz deposits? potash? even diamonds (don't forget some companies now also make diamonds). Every mining operation on this planet proceeds with the assistance of a Chem. Techs.
Paints and Pigments: We use paints in everyday life but we often forget that chemistry is behind the formulation and manufacture of paints. Paint companies and their "feeder" companies require Chem. Tech's in their endeavours. Colour is also a large part of this process. Some of our past third year projects were done using instruments to appropriately measure colour. It turns out that colour is quite subjective for animals (humans too) and colour matching is a big issue. The wavelength, intensity and whether it is absorbed, reflected or scattered play a part in perceiving colour. This is a large consideration for paint companies.
Pulp and Paper: Another primary industry (wood) that utilizes a variety of processes and chemicals to meet the needs of modern society. We cannot function without paper! Consider first the actual process of making the varieties of paper then consider the printing process itself which has ink issues and drying agents.
Gases: Sounds crazy doesn't it? This is another big industry that most people don't even know exists! Nitrous for the dentist, oxygen for medical or for welding, acetylene, carbon dioxide, helium (did you know all the helium comes out of the ground!) hydrogen, specialty gases for the electrical industry like SF5, liquefying of gases like helium for superconductors and MRI's.....the list just goes on. All of these have to be either mined, drilled or manufactured and handled. Chem. Techs are an integral part of the process.
Energy: There is no point in only mentioning oil. Yes the petroleum industry is a giant and the variety of specific jobs for a Chem. Tech. is huge. We have had grads doing geological mapping of soil and subsoil using a variety of tests/instruments and equipment in the uninhabited lands of northern Alberta but also supervising a QC lab on an oil rig. But these days oil isn't everything, there are companies now hiring for help in fuel cells, wind power, solar panels (one recent grad works in Michigan for company that designs/builds solar technology) geothermal etc....
Environmental: How on earth could anyone confirm (and subsequently try to fix) environmental problems without Chem. Tech's? From heavy metal in ground water, PCB's in the Artic, Trace endocrine disruptors on Florida's everglades, Global warming, pesticides, herbicides, post metabolic human pharmaceuticals in our effluent water and the list goes on.....
Agricultural: This is still one of the pillar's of modern civilization. Technology has never been so heavily applied as it is today. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers provide a huge hiring ground for Chem. Techs. Then there is the research done in agriculture to improve results. From no till, to orchard and fish farms to greenhouses the need for chemistry skills is great. Even a small scale green house today might use ozone to purify water, run various test to measure nutrient and element compositions.
Water: Aside from energy and agriculture water is definitely another pillar of civilization. Drinking water today in North America goes through a variety of treatment and monitoring processes. The same is true for waste water. Here too there is a need for chemistry. Every year a number of the pollution control plants in Essex County take some of our third year students to complete their technical projects. Testing for metals and phosphates or playing around with flocculating agents is some of the things that Chem. Techs do. Our past graduates work in these plants!
Ethanol: Who knew that ethanol would one day need its very own category? Wine, Beer and Spirits have become a very large industry. In particular the distillation process requires Chem. Lab. Tech to run and monitor it. Our grads have worked at distilleries such as Hiram Walker or other abroad. Ethanol has also become a popular fuel. Commercial Alcohols is one of many companies that now produces on a very large scale, ethanol for fuels and consumption. Companies such as this have laboratories dedicated to monitoring and controlling the entire process.
Food: A bottle of coke contains some 250 calories, 25 g of total carbohydrates, sodium, fat etc....Who actually runs the analysis to quantify these? Something as seemingly simply as the "thickness" of ketchup or mustard has an R and D lab behind it. Companies take the quality of their food products very seriously and employ Chem. Techs to get things right. There are laws in place that force any type of food or over the counter vitamin to be analyzed to ensure it is what they claim it is. If you buy a vitamin supplement, a Chem. Tech ran the battery of tests to ensure what in on the label is actually in there. The % protein on either our food or even pet food has to be measured. Canneries, Processors, frozen food companies, cereal and grain companies etc.....all need Chem. Techs.
Consulting Companies: Aside from working directly in the above industries there are also opportunities to work in consulting companies such as independent laboratories or engineering laboratories. These labs run a vast variety of tests, analyses and large scale investigations. A company finds an unknown substance on their equipment or a byproduct keeps appearing in a process and they don't know why or the health and safety committee of a business wants a complete air quality study done. This type of job for our grads is very demanding and rewarding.
It is important to make clear that even within these industries there exists a wide variety of job types; quality control, process, sales, research and development, supervision and management. We have had graduates get very high paying and satisfying jobs right away at the age of 22. We also have had 22 year old graduates pay their dues for a couple of years measuring gel cap dissolutions times for 15 dollars and hour but then after some experience easily move onto to some solid consulting , pharma. or energy based jobs. Some grads have found out that working in a lab is not for them so they earned jobs in the sales department of scientific instrument company. They sell sophisticated equipment like HPLC's or GC-MS's (just like the GC-MS on CSI that the nerd claims give them the exact identity of the substance found on the vic.) complete with a territory, company car and expense account. Chemistry offers versatility beyond virtually any other post secondary program!