Machine Operators in Chemical Plants and Plastics Processing

(NOC 9421, 9422)

in All NS Occupations

This group includes many machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas. Chemical plant machine operators monitor and operate units and machinery to blend, mix, process, and package a wide range of specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletry products. They are primarily employed in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries, but may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries. Plastics processing machine operators set up and operate plastic mixing, calendaring, extruding, and moulding processing machines used in the manufacture of plastic parts and plastic products. They are employed by plastic products manufacturing companies.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 60 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Machine Operators in Chemical Plants and Plastics Processing most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 74% of Machine Operators in Chemical Plants and Plastics Processing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $40,963. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.50

Minimum

$15.35

Median

$25.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,813

Minimum

$39,466

Median

$62,013

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes many machine-related jobs that require some skill and are generally performed inside a building. These workers assist with repairs and maintenance of machinery; handle materials; monitor machine operations; and clean work areas.

Chemical plant machine operators monitor and operate units and machinery to blend, mix, process, and package a wide range of specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletry products. They are primarily employed in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries, but may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries.

Plastics processing machine operators set up and operate plastic mixing, calendaring, extruding, and moulding processing machines used in the manufacture of plastic parts and plastic products. They are employed by plastic products manufacturing companies.

Job duties

Chemical plant machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Monitor meters, gauges and electronic instrumentation on one or more chemical or formulation units, such as mixers, kettles, blenders, dryers, tabletting, encapsulation, granulation and coating machines.
  • Measure, weigh and load chemical ingredients following formulation cards.
  • Start up, shut down, troubleshoot and clean equipment.
  • Adjust processing machines and equipment.
  • Monitor reaction processes and transfers of products in conformance with safety procedures.
  • Take samples and perform routine chemical and physical tests of products.
  • Record production data.
  • May operate equipment from a control room or from control consoles located near the production units.

Plastics processing machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Set up and operate machines.
  • Adjust equipment for production line change.
  • Monitor operation and regulate material supply Operate controls to regulate temperature, speed, and other processing conditions.
  • Maintain and perform minor repairs on machinery as required.
  • Maintain inventory of material and clean working area.
  • Monitor quality of material produced.

Sample job titles

  • chemical plant machine operator
  • cosmetics and perfume maker
  • fibreglass machine operator - plastic manufacturing
  • machine operator - plastics processing
  • mixer - chemical processing
  • moulder - chemical processing
  • packaging machine operator - chemical processing
  • press operator - plastic manufacturing
  • solution mixer operator - plastic manufacturing

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor. To work as a water/wastewater operator completion of high school is required and on-the-job training is provided. A combination of education and experience is required for certification. For other jobs in this group the completion of high school is usually required and on-the-job training is provided.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Completion of formal and informal company training may be required for some positions.
  • Completion of specialized courses may be required for some positions.
  • Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required for some jobs in this group.

Other considerations

Previous experience as an assistant, helper, tender or packer, often in the same company, may be required as an entry point to these positions. Mobility between employers producing similar products is possible particularly for some of the higher skilled operators in this grouping. Progression to supervisory positions or to process control jobs is possible with experience. Personal protective equipment may be required when working with some types of chemicals or pharmaceuticals.

By the numbers

Quick look

365

employed in 2016

95.2%

employed full-time

2.7%

self employed

22.9%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
77.1%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
50.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

32.1%

Northern

21.4%

Southern

20.2%

Halifax

15.5%

Annapolis Valley

10.7%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

67.1%

Rubber, Plastics & Chemical Manufacturing

6.8%

Manufactured Mineral Products

2.7%

Management, Admin & Other Support

2.7%

Health Care and Social Assistance

2.7%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

What is the age of Employment?

18.2%

45-54

18.2%

15-24

18.2%

55-64

18.2%

65+

18.2%

25-34

Compared to: All NS Occupations

41.6%

45-54

28.6%

55-64

20.8%

35-44

5.2%

25-34

2.6%

15-24

Top levels of education

48.8%

High school

$72,942 median annual income
20.7%

College certificate or diploma

$87,188 median annual income
15.2%

Less than high school

$70,907 median annual income
10.4%

Trades certificate

$91,032 median annual income
4.9%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

38.1%

High school

$28,358 median annual income
22.9%

Less than high school

$21,011 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$36,968 median annual income
12.4%

Trades certificate

$37,356 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

$36,852 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety Division
PO Box 697, 5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
Tel: (902) 424-5300

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.