Chemical operators are responsible for monitoring equipment that uses and/or processes chemicals. Many variables need to be monitored, such as temperature, pressure, and fluid levels. These statistics are recorded by the chemical operator at timely intervals; if any problems occur, the chemical operator must handle the problem immediately to ensure safety and avoid further disruption in the machinery's operation. A chemical operator is also in charge of the safe handling and storage of chemicals, as well as testing and taking samples. The majority of chemical operator positions are found in industrial settings, primarily for companies that manufacture chemicals and the oil and gas industries. Chemical operators' working conditions vary. As most factories operate around the clock, shift work and night work may be required by some employers. The work is both indoors and outdoors, with outdoor work sometimes dominate (especially in the oil and electricity production industries).
Education requirements for this position vary by company, from a GED to some college experience. Companies usually provide training for the position, as a knowledge of safety standards and industry regulations are required. A chemical operator must not be allergic to any relevant chemicals and able to work in extreme weather conditions. The job requires a person with good communication skills and proficiency with basic computer programs.
Chemical Operator Tasks
Process chemicals by following guidelines and instructions on equipment such as reactors, distillation systems, etc.
Package and transfer chemicals safely.
Monitor and maintain equipment, including adjusting controls, oiling or cleaning, and switching to backups.
Conduct laboratory tests and record results like pH, temperature, raw materials, water level, etc.