CareerGPS

Chemical Plant and System Operators
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Chemical Plant and System Operators
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
102 111 10 9.55% 2 11 13 $41.57 $86,466 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, and yields.
  • Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, and other indicators, and listen for warning signals, in order 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, and instrument readings.
  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, and product quality.
  • Draw samples of products, and conduct quality control tests in order to monitor processing, and to ensure that standards are met.
  • Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
  • Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases and vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, and perfume to towers, and to add products to converter or blending vessels.
  • Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors, and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.
  • Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks and troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
  • Notify maintenance, stationary-engineering, and other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions and to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.
  • Inspect operating units such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks, scrubbers, collectors, and driers to ensure that all are functioning, and to maintain maximum efficiency.
  • Direct workers engaged in operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.
  • Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.
  • Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
  • Gauge tank levels, using calibrated rods.
  • Repair and replace damaged equipment.

Knowledge

86%
Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
75%
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
63%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
62%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
62%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
60%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
53%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
52%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
51%
Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

78%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
75%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
72%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
65%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
62%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
60%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
60%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
60%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
60%
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.
56%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
56%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
56%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
53%
Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
53%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
50%
Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Abilities

72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
69%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
69%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
66%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
66%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
66%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
62%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
62%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
62%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
62%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
62%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
62%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
60%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
60%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
60%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
56%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
56%
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
56%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
56%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
56%
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
56%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
53%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
53%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
50%
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
50%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
50%
Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
50%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Work Activities

87%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
83%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
81%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
77%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
77%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
76%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
75%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
73%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
71%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
68%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
66%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
65%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
63%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
63%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
60%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
60%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
59%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
58%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
57%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
53%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.