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Chemical Plant and System Operators

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Life As a Chemical Plant or System Operator

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

Chemical Plant or System Operator Responsibilities

  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.
  • Repair or replace damaged equipment.
  • Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, or yields.
  • Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, or other indicators and listen for warning signals, to verify conformity of process conditions.
  • Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
  • Notify maintenance, stationary-engineering, or other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions or to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.

What Every Chemical Plant or System Operator Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Chemical Plant and System Operators say are important on the job.

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.

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

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

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

Types of Chemical Plant or System Operator Jobs

  • Process Control Operator
  • Furnace Process Plant Operator
  • Bucket Wash Operator
  • Loader Technician
  • Pressure Controller

Is There Going to be Demand for Chemical Plant and System Operators?

In the United States, there were 33,200 jobs for Chemical Plant and System Operators in 2016.

Chemical Plant or System Operator jobs are decreasing by a rate of -9.2%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -3,100 jobs for Chemical Plant and System Operators by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,800 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Chemical Plant and System Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Chemical Plant and System Operators are Iowa, Louisiana, and North Dakota.

Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Texas, or California. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Chemical Plant or System Operator Average Salary

The salary for Chemical Plant and System Operators ranges between about $34,830 and $88,630 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $62,060.

Salary Ranges for Chemical Plant and System Operators

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Wyoming

$72,950

Texas

$69,010

Alabama

$68,800

Louisiana

$68,150

Illinois

$66,700

West Virginia

$63,980

Pennsylvania

$63,170

Delaware

$62,910

New Jersey

$62,880

Montana

$61,240

Ohio

$60,820

Arizona

$60,790

Iowa

$60,250

Kentucky

$60,090

Mississippi

$59,920

Florida

$59,080

Maryland

$58,400

California

$58,160

Utah

$57,500

Oregon

$57,220

Wisconsin

$56,770

New York

$56,400

Massachusetts

$55,270

Michigan

$54,840

South Carolina

$54,470

Kansas

$54,240

Washington

$52,690

Nevada

$52,630

Georgia

$52,160

Minnesota

$51,340

Virginia

$51,040

North Carolina

$50,370

Indiana

$50,040

Colorado

$49,320

Arkansas

$48,360

Rhode Island

$48,310

South Dakota

$48,140

Tools & Technologies Used by Chemical Plant and System Operators

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

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

How to Become a Chemical Plant or System Operator

Education needed to be a Chemical Plant or System Operator:

Chemical Plant or System Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Chemical Plant or System Operator Work Experience

Where Chemical Plant and System Operators Are Employed

Chemical Plant or System Operator Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Chemical Plant and System Operators might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
  • Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters

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

  • Nuclear Monitoring Technicians
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
  • Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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