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Southwest Region

southwest minnesota mapSouthwest Minnesota is a national leader in agricultural production, and renewable energy.

The region's thriving manufacturing sector includes food processing, machinery, printing, metal products, and computers and electronic products.

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Weird Science

2/29/2016 9:54:04 AM

Luke Greiner

Thanks to a unique mix of industry growth and demand, Chemical Technicians are projected to be one of the fastest growing jobs in Southwest Minnesota over the next decade, with employment opportunities expanding by nearly 30 percent. There are currently 140 Chemical Technicians employed in the 23-county Southwest planning region, with 60 total openings projected from 2012 to 2022.

According to DEED’s career profile, Chemical Technicians “conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.”

Workers in this field typically need one to two years of college, with nearly 50 percent of jobholders having some college or an associate degree. Almost one-third had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Employers seem to prefer at least some training, with almost two-thirds of current job vacancies for life, physical, and social science technicians requiring post-secondary education and 44 percent requiring a certificate or license.

Weirdly, despite being more strongly concentrated in Southwest Minnesota than the state, wages were actually lower for Chemical Technicians in the region. Median hourly wages were $14.25 in 2015, which was significantly lower than the statewide median wage. However, future growth was projected to be more than twice as fast in Southwest as in the rest of the state (Table 1).

Wage and growth statistics for chemical technicians

For students and job seekers interested in science and a stable career opportunity, Chemical Technicians might offer the right mix of education, wages, and demand.

For More Information

Contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz.

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