Fueling our modern society – How to be a Process Plant Operator

Fueling our modern society – How to be a Process Plant Operator

Photo Credit (roy.luck)

Process Plant Operators monitor, control, operate, maintain and repair a large range of equipment in the Chemical, Oil and Gas industries.  Everyday work may involve mechanical, electrical, hydrocarbon production, chemical processes and relevant knowledge.  Process plant operators work shift work and are required both in the field and behind the operating console, inside the control room.  To become a process plant operator a Certificate III in Process Plant Operations is required.


There are a couple of different options to get a start as a Process Plant Operator and gain your qualifications.

The first is applying for Traineeships with the relevant energy companies, you will work directly with operators, the same as an Apprentice learning a trade.  There is both theory and practical examination to achieve the Cert III qualification.

The second is a little harder as it requires several steps to achieve your goal. This will be more time consuming as you will be working your role and lending a helping hand to the operations crew when an opportunity arises. The first qualification you will achieve is a Certificate II in Process Plant Operations, this is the entry course to this occupation (you will also have better chance of landing a Traineeship if you have a CertII, having basic knowledge and showing you are keen).
Continuing from here, you will complete theory modules and continue to assist qualified operators, gaining practical experience until you are ready for practical examination for a Certificate III Process Plant Operations.

Here is a link to Energy companies that operate in Australia.


Process Plant Operators Duties and Tasks

  • Monitor, operate and control reverse osmosis and nano-filtration processes
  • Operate heat exchangers
  • Operate chemical separation equipment
  • Operate local control systems
  • Operate and monitor compressor systems and equipment
  • Operate and monitor pumping systems and equipment
  • Monitor wells and gathering systems
  • Operate and Monitor Gas Production Plant
  • Operate and Monitor a Steam Turbine
  • Operate and Monitor a Boiler
  • Control processes to minimise environmental fallout
  • Check electrical and instrumentation equipment for no malfunctions
  • Control the safe operation of plant isolation and work permits
  • Respond to emergencies such as environmental hazards and injuries
  • Maintain and service equipment and machinery
  • Perform basic repairs on electrical, mechanical, process control equipment and coordinate specialist trade teams
  • Shut down and start up equipment


Process Plant Operators Personal Requirements

  • Thorough approach to work activities
  • Ability to think logically and technically
  • Safe approach to all activities
  • Able to make decisions and accept responsibilities
  • Good knowledge of electrical, mechanical and process applications
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to use hand and power tools
  • Able of working in a team environment
  • Able to read and follow manuals and drawings


Process Plant Operatoes Job Opportunities

  • Heavy Industry
  • Energy
  • Operations
  • Maintenance
  • Shutdowns


Disclaimer: Cribhut provides this information with the best intentions, but purely as a guide. Like most things in life, there are no guarantees. Your lively hood is your own responsibility and even if following the above recommendations, it is still up to you to do your own research, to be patient, persistent and put in the hard work.




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