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Also known as:
Chemical Plant Operator, Chemical Treatment Plant Technician, Nitric Acid Plant Operator, Nitrogen Operator, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Machine Operator
Whether the product is photographic film, pesticides, prescription drugs, or food, the chances are that it uses one of the 50,000 different chemical substances manufactured by workers in the chemical industry. Operating from a control booth, chemical plant and systems operators use gauges and comput ...
er readouts to control the entire production process.
They make sure that chemicals are mixed in the correct ratios, and that reaction rates, temperatures, and many other variable are on target. However, this is not nearly as routine as it sounds. Chemistry is based in science, but on the industrial scale, it is still an art. And like all artists, chemical plant and systems operators must know everything about their materials - and how they will react under various conditions.
After all, not every batch of raw materials received is uniformly pure, and moisture content can vary with the weather. These and dozens of other factors can affect any chemical process. Computers can help. But in the end, it is the experience, skill, and seasoned judgment of chemical plant and systems operators that insure the uniform quality of the product.
Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
Gauge tank levels, using calibrated rods.
Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
Inspect operating units, such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks, scrubbers, collectors, or driers to ensure that all are functioning and to maintain maximum efficiency.
Draw samples of products and conduct quality control tests to monitor processing and to ensure that standards are met.
Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.
Direct workers engaged in operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.
Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.
Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks or troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
Notify maintenance, stationary-engineering, or other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions or to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.
Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases or vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, or perfume to towers, or to add products to converter or blending vessels.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.