Chemical Plant Operator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Chemical Plant Operators earn an average of $21.46 per hour. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $4K and $8K, respectively — total cash payment to Chemical Plant Operators can bottom out near $32K or peak near $82K depending on individual performance. Nearly all enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The majority of Chemical Plant Operators claim high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$35,895 - $93,021
(Median)
$36K
$61K
$93K
MEDIAN: $61,147
10%
50%
90%

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$14.47 - $33.47
(Median)
$14
$21
$33
MEDIAN: $21.00
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$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$35,895 - $93,021  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,974  
Profit Sharing
$101.37 - $7,891  
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).
)
$31,698 - $81,998  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 41
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$14.47 - $33.47  
   
Overtime
$16.91 - $50.85  
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 - $3,974  
   
Profit Sharing
$101.37 - $7,891  
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).
)
$31,698 - $81,998  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 177
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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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $49K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $55K. Chemical Plant Operators bring in $57K after working for 10 to 20 years. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Chemical Plant Operator with more than 20 years of experience can earn $68K on average.

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Experience Affects Chemical Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%

Experienced
up arrow 5%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$54,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 40 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 64%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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