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Chemical Plant or System Operator

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What Does it Take to Be a Chemical Plant or System Operator?

Job Description: Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.

Daily Life Of a Chemical Plant or System Operator

  • Direct workers engaged in operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.
  • Inspect operating units, such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks, scrubbers, collectors, or driers to ensure that all are functioning and to maintain maximum efficiency.
  • Record operating data, such as process conditions, test results, or instrument readings.
  • Defrost frozen valves, using steam hoses.
  • Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
  • Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.

Things a Chemical Plant or System Operator Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Chemical Plant and System Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Other Chemical Plant or System Operator Job Titles

  • Chemical Plant Operator
  • Pressure Controller
  • Checker
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Machine Operator
  • Nitric Acid Plant Operator

What Kind of Chemical Plant or System Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

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

Chemical Plant or System Operator Salary

The average yearly salary of a Chemical Plant or System Operator ranges between $34,830 and $88,630.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Chemical Plant and System Operators

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Chemical Plant and System Operators may use on a daily basis:

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

How do I Become a Chemical Plant or System Operator?

Education needed to be a Chemical Plant or System Operator:

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Chemical Plant or System Operator?

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Where Chemical Plant and System Operators Are Employed

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Chemical Plant and System Operators work in the following industries:

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

Are you already one of the many Chemical Plant or System Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: NASA via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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