Chemical Plant Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Chemical Plant Operators in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $21.39 per hour. In the world of Chemical Plant Operators, overall income ranges from $31K near the bottom to $75K at the top; this can include more than $5K from bonuses and more than $8K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$36,065 - $80,071
(Median)
$36K
$55K
$80K
MEDIAN: $54,557
10%
50%
90%

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$13.88 - $31.80
(Median)
$14
$21
$32
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$36,065 - $80,071  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,872  
Profit Sharing
$986 - $7,946  
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).
)
$30,954 - $75,012  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 32
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$13.88 - $31.80  
   
Overtime
$16.42 - $46.27  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,872  
   
Profit Sharing
$986 - $7,946  
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).
)
$30,954 - $75,012  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 155
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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.


For Chemical Plant Operators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average inexperienced worker earns $49K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $54K. For Chemical Plant Operators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $56K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $63K.

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Experience Affects Chemical Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 18%

Experienced
up arrow 5%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$53,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 39 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 5%
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