Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators – NOC : 9232

Unit Group
9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators monitor and operate petroleum, petrochemical and chemical plants and monitor, adjust and maintain processing units and equipment in these plants. They are employed by petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical companies and industrial, agricultural and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical companies.
Example Titles
acid plant operator
cell room operator, chlor-alkali plant
chemical process operator
chief technician, chemical processing
gas field production operator
gas plant operator
gas recovery operator
master operator – chemical processing
oil refinery process operator
panel operator – chemical processing
petroleum process operator
pharmaceutical processing operator
pipeline compressor station operator
process technician – chemical processing
refinery process technician
View all titles
Main duties
Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate electronic or computerized control panel from a central control room to monitor and optimize physical and chemical processes for several processing units
  • Control process start-up, shut-down and troubleshooting
  • Monitor outside process equipment
  • Adjust equipment, valves, pumps and controls and process equipment
  • Authorize or co-sign maintenance work orders
  • Shut down, isolate and prepare process units or production equipment for maintenance
  • Sample products, perform tests, record data, carry out statistical process control on process operations, and write production logs
  • Develop operator procedures for normal operation, start-up or shut-down of unit
  • Participate in safety audits and programs and provide emergency response when required
  • Ensure adherence to safety and environmental regulations
  • May rotate between different processing units during shift cycles
  • May work in a team with shared supervisory responsibilities and participate in training other workers
  • May be cross-trained in a skilled trade and work in the trade during shift cycles.
Employment requirements
  • Completion of secondary school is required. Mathematics, chemistry and physics subjects are often specified.
  • A college diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject may be required for some positions.
  • Petroleum and chemical process operators and process technicians require completion of several years of formal company training.
  • Experience as a petroleum or chemical process operator in all the operating units controlled by the central control room is required for chief operators.
  • Company certification as a petroleum process operator or technician may be required.
  • A provincial stationary engineer licence, compressor operator or refrigeration certificate may be required when certain kinds of equipment are included in the process.
  • Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting, or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required.
Additional information
  • There is considerable mobility among jobs within a company, often as part of a formal development or training program.
  • Mobility to other petroleum or chemical processing plants is possible, but may be limited by the usual practice of training and promoting workers from within the establishment.
  • Progression to supervisory or managerial positions is possible with experience.
  • Occupations in this unit group may involve exposure to hazards of toxic, flammable or explosive chemicals and personal protective equipment may be required.
Classified elsewhere
  • Chemical plant machine operators (9421)
  • Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities (9212)