Chemical Plant Process Operator

Job Description:

Chemical plant process operators control machinery that makes chemical products, like paints, cleaning fluids and cosmetics.

Job Category:

What you will do:

On a typical day you could:

  • set up production machinery
  • mix and load raw materials into tanks
  • read instruments and make adjustments to settings
  • take samples and record data to monitor quality
  • pack and store finished batches
  • stock control
  • clean and maintain machinery
  • report problems
  • follow strict health and safety guidelines


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools

As well as:

  • observation and recording skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (drive)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could take a college course, which would give you some of the skills and knowledge needed in the job, for example:

  • Certificate in Applied Science
  • Diploma in Process Technology

You can get into this job through a science manufacturing process operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Direct Application
You can apply directly for jobs. In the UK, some employers may ask for GCSEs in maths, English, IT and a science subject, or equivalent qualifications.

You may be asked to take a maths test along with other assessments, and pass a medical at the interview stage.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work in an office, in a laboratory or at a manufacturing plant.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into quality control, lab work, maintenance or shift management.

With further study, you could become a process technician.