Chemical Plant Operators control the operation of chemical production plant.

Specialisations: Chemicals Distiller, Chemicals Fermentation Operator, Industrial Gas Production Operator, Paint Maker, Pharmaceutical Plant Operator, Pilot Plant Operator.

You can work as a Chemical Plant Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Tasks

  • Controls equipment that performs continuous and batch processes to process chemicals.
  • Controls the preparation, measuring and feeding of raw material and processing agents such as catalysts and filtering media into plant.
  • Patrols and inspects equipment to ensure proper operation and sets operating controls on equipment.
  • Analyses samples and readings and records test data.
  • Controls records of production, quantities transferred and details of blending and pumping operations.
  • Checks equipment for malfunctions and arranges maintenance.

More about Chemical, Gas, Petroleum & Power Plant Operators

All Chemical, Gas, Petroleum & Power Plant Operators

  • $3,082 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Chemical Plant Operators

  • 1,800 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 94% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 45 hours Average full-time
  • 47 years Average age
  • 4% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Chemical Plant Operators (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 2,000 in 2011 to 1,800 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Many Chemical Plant Operators work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Mining; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (94%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 47 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (57%).
  • Gender: 4% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing80.4
Mining3.3
Financial and Insurance Services3.3
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services2.7
Other Industries10.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateChemical Plant OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW26.131.6
VIC27.125.6
QLD20.220.0
SA4.17.0
WA21.210.8
TAS0.92.0
NT0.21.0
ACT0.21.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketChemical Plant OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.3-5.05.0
20-243.1-9.39.3
25-3415.1-22.922.9
35-4424.8-22.022.0
45-5429.7-21.621.6
55-5916.2-9.09.0
60-648.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationChemical Plant OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate1.3-10.110.1
Bachelor degree8.2-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.1-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV38.1-21.121.1
Year 1218.2-18.118.1
Year 116.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below20.6-12.512.5

You can work as a Chemical Plant Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • forklift licence

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Resources and Infrastructure Industry, Gas Industry, National Water Industry, Chemical, Hydrocarbons & Refining, Electricity Supply Industry - Generation Sector VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Chemistry

    62% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  2. Mechanical

    58% Skill level

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. English Language

    47% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Production and Processing

    42% Skill level

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    41% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-8091.00 - Chemical Plant and System Operators.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-Face Discussions

    100% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  2. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

    100% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  3. Exposed to Hazardous Conditions

    99% Important

    How often do you work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals?

  4. Exposed to Contaminants

    97% Important

    How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

  5. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

    96% Important

    How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-8091.00 - Chemical Plant and System Operators.

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