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Chemical plant process operator

Alternative titles for this job include Chemical process operator, chemical plant worker, chemical plant operator

Chemical plant process operators control machinery that makes chemical products, like paints, cleaning fluids and cosmetics.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£37,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a chemical plant process operator

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could take a college course, which would give you some of the skills and knowledge needed in the job, for example:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Applied Science
  • Level 2 Diploma in Process Technology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a science manufacturing process operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs. Some employers may ask for GCSEs in maths, English, IT and a science subject, or equivalent qualifications.

You may be asked to take a maths test along with other assessments, and pass a medical at the interview stage.

More Information

Career tips

Previous experience in the manufacturing and processing industries would be an advantage.

A forklift truck certificate may be useful.

Further information

You can find more on careers in the chemicals industry from Cogent Skills.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • observation and recording skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you could:

  • set up production machinery
  • mix and load raw materials into tanks
  • read instruments and make adjustments to settings
  • take samples and record data to monitor quality
  • pack and store finished batches
  • stock control
  • clean and maintain machinery
  • report problems
  • follow strict health and safety guidelines

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a laboratory or at a manufacturing plant.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into quality control, lab work, maintenance or shift management.

With further study, you could become a process technician.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Production Operator Apprenticeship - Pharmaron Biologics

  • Wage: £13,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Liverpool

Process Manufacturing Apprentice

  • Wage: £18,000.00 Annually
  • Location:

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Provider: MARIA FIDELIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL FCJ
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: London

Applied Science

  • Provider: WEALD SCHOOL, THE
  • Start date: 03 September 2021
  • Location: Billingshurst

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