What Does a Process Operator – Wood Products Do?

A Process Operator - Wood Products (246W) operates, monitors, adjusts and maintains wood processing systems and equipment, primarily in the wood products and pulp and paper processing industries.
Job Related Skills, Interests and Values
  • Using and maintaining tools and equipment for measuring, testing and assessment
  • Operating a central control room to control process operations
  • Monitoring and controlling process equipment and materials
  • Maintaining processing equipment and components and vessels
  • Controlling chemical composition
  • Carrying out quality and statistical process control
  • Working diligently to ensure the workplace is safe, clean and organized

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Process Operator – Wood Products, you need an Ontario Secondary School Graduation diploma school (Grade 12) with credits in Math, Chemistry and English. Knowledge of physics and blueprint reading would be an asset. Apprenticeship in this Voluntary trade is comprised of 6,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as a minimum of 720 hours of in-school or equivalent correspondence training.This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as A Process Operator – Wood Products?
Process Operators in this particular trade are employed primarily by wood products and pulp & paper processing industries. In Ontario, these industries are located in both south and northern parts of the province; many are located in Western Canada. Employment opportunities will vary depending on the strength of the economy, the competitiveness of the industry globally, the demand for wood products in construction both at home and for export, and environmental trends, including climate change. Employment in this industry will continue to be impacted by the development and spread of new technology in other areas, particularly digital communications and recycling, as well as natural disasters that can lead to increased demand for products.
Employers who hire Process Operators – Wood Products include:
  • Wood products companies
  • Pulp and Paper processing firms
To find out more about this industry, check out the following websites:

Wage Rate
  • Apprentices generally earn less than Journeypeople, however as your skill and expertise increase, so does your wage 
  • Wage rates average @ $18.00+ per hour in this trade
Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Process Operator – Wood Products For You?
Do you have good manual dexterity, and enjoy working with and maintaining measuring, testing and assessment tools?
Yes      No
Are you willing to follow strict safety procedures, particularly around the use of moving equipment, and hazardous chemicals?
Yes      No
Do you have an eye for detail and enjoy keeping accurate written records?
Yes      No
Are you good at researching and finding out about how systems, processes and equipment should function?
Yes      No
Are you good at geometry and algebra?
Yes      No
Are you willing to work in confined spaces, where there could be heat, noise and chemical vapours that have an odour?
Yes      No
Do you enjoy working and communicating as a member of a team to get the job done?
Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Process Operator – Wood Products may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:
  • Process Operator – Refinery, Chemical & Liquid
  • Process Operator – Food Manufacturing
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemist

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