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WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY:

It was a very good program. I learned a lot! 

Sutharshiny Sritharakumar
Chemical Laboratory Technician
Graduate
Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical Laboratory Technician

Chemical Laboratory Technician

Be part of the future

Chemicals are everywhere. Plastics, soaps, shampoos, food ingredients and additives, new alternative fuels, pharmaceuticals, batteries – all of these are products created using chemistry.

Chemical Lab Technicians often work in a team environment developing new products, using advanced testing methodologies to assure quality with chemical manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, food ingredient manufacturers, consumers product companies, energy producers and the emerging green product sector.

Be part of the future – become a Chemical Laboratory Technician.  

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Program Description

This program will provide you with the entry-level qualifications needed to obtain a chemical and/or biological laboratory technician position in a broad range of industries including:

  • Cosmetic
  • Environmental
  • Food production
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Scientific

You will learn how to:

  • Compile records and interpret experimental or analytical results
  • Develop and conduct sampling and data analysis
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment
  • Set up and conduct chemical experiments

Industries of employment:

  • Cosmetic manufacturers
  • Chemical production and industrial chemical manufacturers
  • Environmental sector
  • Federal and provincial governments
  • Food production companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C, M or U)
  • Grade 12 mathematics (C, M or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 chemistry and biology (recommended)

Please note: Applicants who do not have the admissions criteria for the Chemical Laboratory Technician program may want to consider applying to Durham College’s General Arts and Science one-year certificate program to better prepare themselves and possibly obtain a transferable/elective credit from the School of Science & Engineering Technology. For more information, please contact admissions@durhamcollege.ca or 905.721.3000.

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Career Options

Graduate employment may be found in:

  • Chemical or quality assurance laboratories
  • Chemical plant operations
  • Energy generation and distribution
  • Food manufacturers
  • Research and development
  • Sales and technical support
  • Water treatment plants

Past Durham College graduates have found employment with the following job titles:

  • Analytical Services
  • Chemical Process Operator
  • Chemical Technician / Technologist
  • Inorganic Data Analyst
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Laboratory Technician /
  • Technologist
  • Process Operator
  • Quality Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Technician
  • Research & Development Analyst
  • Sample Entry Technician
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Course List & Descriptions

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

This one-semester course consists of three lecture hours per week and 12 lab hours throughout the term.  This course is designed to introduce students to basic biological concepts and their significance in helping to solve issues that affect modern society, and provides a foundation for senior courses in the sciences programs.  This course focuses on the processes involved in biological systems. Students learn concepts and theories in the areas of cellular biology, genetics, and animal anatomy and physiology.  In addition, this course reinforces and emphasizes the underlying relationship between structure and function present in all biological systems.

This one semester introductory chemistry course includes weekly three hour lectures and three hour laboratory sessions.  The lectures deal with the theoretical aspects of chemical principles, whereas the laboratory relates to the practical applications of chemistry and the development of the necessary ‘hands on’ basic techniques and skills. Topics discussed in the lectures include matter, atomic structure, chemical bonding, nomenclature, chemical formulae, the mole, stoichiometry and chemical reactions.  An emphasis is placed on developing problem solving skills, which relies, to an extent, on an appropriate mathematical background.  The laboratory sessions include a topic on lab safety and safe procedures and practices are continually stressed throughout the semester.  The experiments involve sample preparation, use of the analytical balance, solution preparation and standardization, analysis of samples by various procedures, the use of glassware and the use of simple instrumentation (Spec.20, pH meters).

Technical Communication is the “art and science of making complex technical information accessible, usable and relevant to most people in most settings.”  This course reinforces and expands on technical communication skills introduced in first semester, which students will require in the workplace. Students will learn to select and use appropriate research, language, and layout for different technical documents, while further developing their written and verbal communication skills and their ability to work in a team.

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

Students refresh and develop their skills in fundamental mathematics including algebra, graphing, unit conversions, ratios, proportions, geometry and problem solving. As well, students practise and strengthen their reasoning abilities by restating problems so they can be solved mathematically. This course covers the component skills required in Math 2132.

This one-semester course is designed to teach the student fundamental analytical techniques, which are required for satisfactory performance in any laboratory-related work.  Techniques taught include proper use of the analytical balance, proper pipetting techniques, use of the buret, transferring solutions, use of the pH meter and the spectrophotometer.  The course consists of 1 lecture hour and 2 lab hours.

This course is a continuation of Chemistry I (CHEM 1131), and consists of two hours of lecture and a three hour lab session per week.  The lectures deal with the theoretical aspects of chemical principles; whereas the lab relates to the practical applications of the science of chemistry and the development of the necessary basic skills required.  Labs are designed around analysis of samples, with emphasis placed on accuracy. Topics discussed in the lectures include: periodic properties of elements, chemical bonding, intermolecular forces, properties of solutions, equibria and acid base chemistry.  Emphasis is placed on problem solving skills development, especially with respect to solution chemistry.  The laboratory sessions include a topic on lab safety and experiments involving sample preparation, use of the analytical balance, solution preparation and standardization, analysis of samples by various procedures (volumetric, gravimetric, etc.), the use of glassware, the use of simple instrumentation (spec 20, pH meters, etc.) 

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

This course is a continuation of Mathematics I (MATH 1132). Students develop their mathematical skills through topics such as exponential and logarithmic functions, radicals and exponents and systems of equations. Using mathematical procedures and applying mathematical concepts to solve problems are stressed.

This is a one semester course designed to introduce the student to the basic concepts of organic chemistry.  This course is designed to familiarize the student with organic chemical structures, functional groups, nomenclature and basic physical properties and reactions of organic compounds.

This course provides a thorough review of environmental protection legislation and regulations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. It also covers public attitudes and a brief history of key environmental issues and incidents that helped shape current environmental legislation. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, the Nutrient Management Act, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Environmental Bill of Rights, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Green Energy Act and the Water Opportunities Act, among others, are introduced along with some of the key regulations.  The important regulations are examined in greater depth in subsequent courses.

Biochemistry I is a one-semester course with two scheduled hours of lecture and three scheduled hours of laboratory exercises per week.  This course provides an introduction to food chemistry and nutrition, and the biochemistry of the biological molecules, particularly amino acids, proteins, and enzymes.  Emphasis is placed on the structure, chemistry, and function of these molecules.  Thermodynamics and the biochemistry of water, acids, bases, and buffers are also examined.  The roles of biological molecules are discussed in the context of the organism by way of a survey of major metabolic processes.  Laboratory experiments closely follow the progress of the lecture and are slanted towards practical applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological industries.

The course serves as an introduction to analytical methods and their applications.  Sample preparation, method selection, techniques, calculations and data handling are addressed as they apply to different types of chemical analysis.  This course introduces the chemical principles behind gravimetric and volumetric methods of analysis.  Problem-solving is strongly emphasized.  The laboratory portion of this course emphasizes good laboratory technique and practices.  Accuracy and precision of analytical results as well as documentation and presentation of laboratory results are evaluated.

This is a one-semester theory course (two hours/week) designed to extend students’ knowledge into methods of instrumental analysis. Students are introduced to basic spectrographic and chromatographic instrumental concepts and applications, including interpretation of analytical results. This theory course is followed by a lab practical course in the following semester.

This course introduces applied aspects of microbiology.  It includes a practical and theoretical introduction to microbial cell morphology and the structure and function of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.  The diversity of the microbial world is examined by comparing bacterial, fungal, protozoan and viral organisms. The growth, reproduction and enumeration of micro-organisms are studied as well as the effects of physical and chemical agents on microbial growth.  The laboratory component provides hands-on experience in the isolation, cultivation and enumeration of micro-organisms as well as in the preparation of microbiological media and maintenance of microbial cultures. 

This is an introductory physical chemistry course studying the underlying principles that govern the properties and behaviour of chemical systems.  Physical chemistry illustrates the establishment and development of underlying physical principles that govern the properties and behaviour of chemical systems.  Its concepts are used to explain and interpret observations on the physical and chemical properties of matter in its various states (gas, liquid and solid).  Physical chemistry is essential for developing and interpreting the modern techniques used to determine the structure and properties of matter

This is a continuation of Analytical Chemistry I.  Various volumetric methods are studied (acid/base, redox, complexation).  More advanced concepts and theory are examined as they deal with each type of analysis.  This course also serves as an introduction to instrumental analysis, addressing both electrochemical and spectroscopic methods from an analytical perspective.  Problem solving is strongly emphasized.  The laboratory portion of this course emphasizes good laboratory technique and practices.  Accuracy and precision of analytical results as well as documentation and presentation of laboratory results are evaluated.

The goal of this course is two-fold.  Primarily it assists students in developing a well planned and organized job search plan. In order to accomplish this, students develop professional cover letters, resumes, portfolios and career action plans. The second goal of this course is to introduce students to subject matter which will assist them to meet today’s workforce challenges. An introduction of Organizational Behaviour is explored including; Understanding and working with management to attain company and career goals, working and communicating in a team environment, functioning and managing stress in today’s workplace and understanding why organizational change and development take place.

Elective general education courses appear in your program of study as GNED 0000. This is called a “placeholder.” This placeholder is replaced by an actual course that you will select from a list of available "elective" general education courses when you register in the relevant semester.

Please note that the type and number of elective courses available will vary from semester to semester and from year to year.

Please visit the General Education website for more information.

This is a one semester course designed to introduce the student to the basics of foods and pharmaceuticals.  The Canadian pharmaceutical industry is discussed.  The regulations regarding pharmaceuticals are introduced.  The basics of quality control of tablets are introduced.  The forms pharmaceuticals come in and the labelling of pharmaceuticals is introduced.  Nutraceuticals, probiotics, prebiotics and functional foods are introduced.  Foods are looked at from the standpoint of the major components, such as fat, protein, carbohydrates, and water and their significance in the manufacture of foods and their role in nutrition for the body.  Minor components, such as vitamins, minerals, toxins, food additives, microbes and their significance to health are discussed.  Control of nutrient addition and other quality control aspects of food processing are introduced.

This course describes the development, approval process, formulation, manufacture and testing of pharmaceutical products. Solid dosage forms (tablets, capsules, powders), liquid dosage forms (solutions, syrups, suspensions, emulsions) and other dosage forms (ointments, creams, transdermal patches, aerosols) are addressed.  The pharmaceutical industry is addressed from a Canadian and North American perspective.  The role of government agencies (USP/NF, FDA, CDER, TPD) is discussed.  cGMPs and GLPs are described as they relate to this industry as well as Quality Assurance and its role in helping to establish/maintain quality standards.  The Laboratory portion of the course addresses the testing of raw materials and finished products.  Both chemical (impurity testing, assays – HPLC, UV/VIS, and identification tests) and physical testing (friability, disintegration, dissolution, viscosity, hardness, etc.) are performed according to USP/NF monographs.  The importance of documentation in the laboratory is stressed.

Courses and course descriptions are for the next academic year and are subject to change.

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Program Costs

 YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Tuition$2,687$12,178
Compulsory Ancillary$1,057$1,617
Program Incidental$125$125
Total Fees:$3,870$13,920

Please note: fees are based on the 2014-2015 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

Qualified graduates may be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study at Durham College in programs such as Biotechnology - Advanced, Pharmaceutical and Food Science Technology and Environmental Technology.

In addition, qualified graduates may also be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities. 

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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PROGRAM AT-A-GLANCE
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