What Does a Process Operator: Refinery, Chemical & Liquid Processes Do?

A Process Operator: Refinery, Chemical & Liquid (246F) processes operates, monitors, adjusts and maintains processing units and equipment generally for manufacturing companies.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • learning about and performing operator duties, outside or in a control room
  • operating electronic or computerized control panels
  • reading a variety of instruments to gauge pressure, flow, level, concentration, density etc.
  • acquiring solid knowledge of chemistry and chemical reactions
  • adjusting equipment, valves, pumps and controls as well as process equipment
  • monitoring outside process equipment
  • sampling, testing and preparing written documents on maintenance as well as process operations
  • troubleshooting process operations
  • communicating effectively with co-workers and supervisors
  • working independently or as a member of a team on a variety of different projects and tasks

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 you should  preferably complete your secondary school diploma, with credits in Math, English and Science, particularly Chemistry. As an apprentice, you will complete an apprenticeship of 6480 hours, including industry approved theoretical 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 Process Operator?

Process Operators usually work full-time, sometimes shift-work, often with benefits, for companies involved in the following manufacturing processes:

  • Petroleum
  • Petro-Chemical
  • Gas Producing
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural
  • Pharmaceutical

With time and experience, it is possible to move ahead to Supervisory positions in this field.

Wage Rate

  • As an Apprentice you earn less than a Journeyperson
  • This rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • Wages range from a low of $12.50-$25.00,per hour with the average wage at $17.60 per hour according to the Peel Halton Dufferin Wage Book 2000 published by HRDC.

Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Process Operator: Refinery, Chemical & Liquid Processes for You?


Do you have good attention to detail and perform tasks in an accurate, thorough and methodical way?

Yes      No

Are you able to bend, stretch, stand and lift?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with tools, equipment and machinery?

Yes      No

Do you like to get the job done safely and just right?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy learning about theories, systems and processes ?

Yes      No

Can you look at a diagram and figure things out?

Yes      No

Are you good at Math and performing calculations?

Yes      No

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

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Chemical Engineer
  • Stationary Engineer
  • Quality Control/Testing
  • Instrumentation Mechanic

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