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Chemical Plant Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Chemical Plant Operators in the United States, bringing in about $21.55 per hour. Total cash compensation to Chemical Plant Operators approaches anywhere from $32K on the lower end to $75K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $5K from bonuses and upwards of $8K from profit sharing. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Chemical Plant Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$34,765 - $80,071
(Median)
$35K
$55K
$80K
MEDIAN: $54,537
10%
50%
90%

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$14.16 - $31.33
(Median)
$14
$22
$31
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
$34,765 - $80,071  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,008  
Profit Sharing
$990 - $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).
)
$31,784 - $74,808  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 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
$14.16 - $31.33  
   
Overtime
$16.81 - $47.02  
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 - $5,008  
   
Profit Sharing
$990 - $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).
)
$31,784 - $74,808  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 159

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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.

Chemical Plant Operator Job Listings

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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.


Chemical Plant Operators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $49K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $54K. Chemical Plant Operators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $56K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Chemical Plant Operators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $66K.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Chemical Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 23%

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 40 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 6%