Men make up the majority of Chemical Plant Operators in the United States, bringing in about $20.10 per hour. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Chemical Plant Operators is high. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and most earn dental coverage. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$31,444 - $97,170
(Median)
$31K
$61K
$97K
MEDIAN: $60,871
10%
50%
90%

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$14.57 - $35.22
(Median)
$15
$20
$35
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$31,444 - $97,170  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,966  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,550 - $83,884  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 29
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$14.57 - $35.22  
   
Overtime
$20.00 - $52.96  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,966  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,550 - $83,884  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 115
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Job Description for Chemical Plant Operator

The chemical plant operator is usually hired by chemical manufacturing companies. This operator generally works in a factory or manufacturing facility. Many companies do not require any education beyond a high school diploma, although training at a technical school as a chemical operator can be preferable. The experience required varies, as some companies may be willing to hire those without previous experience in the industry. Others may require as many as 4 years’ worth of plant operator experience. Some knowledge of machinery and their maintenance and upkeep can be helpful, although not necessary for all positions in the field.

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Chemical Plant Operator Tasks

  • Take samples and watch chemical reactions to test for product conformance.
  • Adjust and calibrate equipment, working with technical personnel to achieve desired product specifications.
  • Monitor and interpret instrument panels and indicators, ensuring equipment performs as expected.
  • Unload, load, and package raw materials, waste products and products.

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Pay by Experience Level for Chemical Plant Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $46K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $55K on average. Chemical Plant Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $54K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $65K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

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Experience Affects Chemical Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

National Average
$51,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 21 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 81%
medical benefits
Vision: 67%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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