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Chemical Plant or System Operator

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What You Need to Know About Chemical Plant or System Operator

Chemical Plant or System Operator Definition Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.

Life As a Chemical Plant or System Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases or vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, or perfume to towers, or to add products to converter or blending vessels.
  • Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, or yields.
  • Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks or troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
  • Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.
  • Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, or other indicators and listen for warning signals, to verify conformity of process conditions.

Skills Needed to be a Chemical Plant or System Operator

When polled, Chemical Plant and System Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Chemical Plant Operator
  • Process Development Associate
  • Process Control Operator
  • Checker
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Machine Operator

Are There Job Opportunities for Chemical Plant and System Operators?

There were about 33,200 jobs for Chemical Plant or System Operator in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Chemical Plant or System Operator. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,800 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Chemical Plant or System Operator are South Dakota, North Dakota, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, California, or South Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Chemical Plant and System Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Chemical Plant and System Operators ranges between about $34,830 and $88,630 a year.

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Chemical Plant and System Operators who work in Wyoming, Texas, or Alabama, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Chemical Plant and System Operators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $68,800
Arizona $60,790
Arkansas $48,360
California $58,160
Colorado $49,320
Delaware $62,910
Florida $59,080
Georgia $52,160
Illinois $66,700
Indiana $50,040
Iowa $60,250
Kansas $54,240
Kentucky $60,090
Louisiana $68,150
Maryland $58,400
Massachusetts $55,270
Michigan $54,840
Minnesota $51,340
Mississippi $59,920
Montana $61,240
Nevada $52,630
New Jersey $62,880
New York $56,400
North Carolina $50,370
Ohio $60,820
Oregon $57,220
Pennsylvania $63,170
Rhode Island $48,310
South Carolina $54,470
South Dakota $48,140
Texas $69,010
Utah $57,500
Virginia $51,040
Washington $52,690
West Virginia $63,980
Wisconsin $56,770
Wyoming $72,950

What Tools do Chemical Plant and System Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Chemical Plant and System Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Distributed control system DCS
  • Interlock shutdown systems

How do I Become a Chemical Plant or System Operator?

What education is needed to be a Chemical Plant or System Operator?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Chemical Plant and System Operators Work

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Below are examples of industries where Chemical Plant and System Operators work:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Chemical Plant or System Operator may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Chemical Plant or System Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: NASA via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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