Laboratory Technicians combine a love of chemistry with the oil and gas industry. They are the ones behind the scenes who test drilling results in the field, examine water quality in SAGD processes, or work with chemicals within refinery processes in oil sands operations. They monitor and analyze chemical reactions and levels to understand, measure and remediate any issues.

What a typical day looks like:

Like the name suggests, Laboratory Technicians usually work inside laboratories conducting chemical experiments, tests, and analyses. They are curious scientists who want to know exactly what is happening inside each water, oil, or chemical sample. They set up and conduct chemical experiments using techniques such as chromatography, spectroscopy, physical and chemical separation techniques and microscopy to find out the specifications, quality, or changes in each sample.

They test things consistently and regularly and compile records that allow them, and other scientists and operators, to find, interpret, and analyze the results. They look for trends and can spot issues before they become larger problems.

While some Laboratory Technicians spend the majority of their time working in the field, others primarily analyze results in a lab setting. Either way, they spend a lot of time on their feet which requires some physical endurance. They may be required to carry and set up heavy testing and monitoring equipment, and they will need to be able to crouch and bend frequently. They are also responsible for cleaning up after themselves. They maintain, clean, and sterilize all their own laboratory instruments or equipment to make sure that their results are always accurate.

The kinds of problems Laboratory Technicians solve at work:

Laboratory Technicians work with a team to find solutions to large, complex problems. Their testing results could be the first warning of quality issues or abnormal trends in oil and gas systems. They combine their gathered data with their critical thinking skills to help find solutions that will work and get operations back on track. They are troubleshooters who can quickly find creative solutions to non-conformances.

Skills used most on the job:

Laboratory Technicans are proficient in math, chemistry, and technology use. They have strong critical thinking skills and are a member of a team, so they also have excellent communication, listening and interpersonal skills.

Laboratory Technicians collect and test the chemistry of various samples to make sure the operation is running smoothly, has high quality, and is meeting regulatory requirements.

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