Chemical Plant and System Operators


Salary Median (2017)


Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)

-9.2% (decline)

Most Common Level of Education

High School Diploma


What Chemical Plant and System Operators Do

Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.

Other Job Titles Chemical Plant and System Operators May Have

Chemical Operator, Loader Technician, Machine Operator, Operations Technician, Operator, Process Control Operator, Process Development Associate, Process Operator, Process Technician, Production Technician

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Process Operator ,


My work day starts at 4 am or 4 pm since it’s shift work (rotates days and nights). I go in and make relief with the previous shift to see what has been done for the day. We check the maintenance schedule to see if any equipment (mostly pumps) needs to be ready for work to be done. I make rounds on equipment in the process unit and catch samples for lab results to make sure our product is on spec for customers. We’re paid for our troubleshooting skills to keep the plant making money 24/7.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • 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.
  • Control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment.
  • Record operating data, such as process conditions, test results, or instrument readings.
  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.

This page includes information from theO*NET 25.0 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.