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 $21.46 per hour. Final cash compensation to Chemical Plant Operators varies from around $32K to approximately $82K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $4K and $8K, respectively. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Chemical Plant Operators. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$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.


Chemical Plant Operators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $49K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $55K. Chemical Plant Operators bring in $57K after working for 10 to 20 years. Chemical Plant Operators who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $68K.

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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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