Chemical Plant and System Operators
At a Glance
By The Numbers
Median Annual Earnings
Median Annual Earnings are the midpoint earned by 50 percent of workers who are the lowest paid and 50 percent of workers who are the highest paid in a particular occupation
Jobs are any position in which a worker provides labor in exchange for monetary compensation (note: one individual may hold multiple jobs)
This is the most common education level requested in entry-level job listings.
- Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, or other indicators and listen for warning signals to verify conformity of process conditions.
- Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
- Control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment.
- 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.
- Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, or yields.
- Draw samples of products and conduct quality control tests to monitor processing and to ensure that standards are met.
- Record operating data, such as process conditions, test results, or instrument readings.
- Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks or troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
- Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.
- Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.
- Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.
- 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.
- Notify maintenance, stationary engineering, or other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions or to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.
- Repair or replace damaged equipment.
What skills are necessary for Chemical Plant and System Operators?
Hard skills are specific, learnable, measurable, often industry- or occupation-specific abilities related to a position.
Soft skills can be self-taught and usually do not necessitate a certain completed level of education. They are essential in many industries and occupations.