Central Control and Process Operators in Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing

(NOC 9232)

in All Manufacturing and Utilities

These workers monitor and run petroleum, petrochemical and chemical plants and monitor, adjust and maintain processing units and equipment in these plants. They work for petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical companies and industrial, agricultural and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

  • Estimate 75 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 1460 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Central Control and Process Operators in Petroleum, Gas, and Chemical Processing most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 45% of Central Control and Process Operators in Petroleum, Gas, and Chemical Processing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $65,878. 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

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$65,844

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$23.91

Median

$35.04

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,056

Minimum

$30,111

Median

$70,518

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

These workers monitor and run petroleum, petrochemical and chemical plants and monitor, adjust and maintain processing units and equipment in these plants. They work for petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical companies and industrial, agricultural and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Job duties

Central control and process operators:

  • Use electronic or computerized control panel from a central control room to monitor and adjust physical and chemical processes for several processing units.
  • Control process start-up, shutdown and troubleshooting.
  • Monitor outside process equipment.
  • Adjust equipment, valves, pumps and controls and process equipment.
  • Approve 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 operating procedures for normal operation, start-up or shutdown of unit.
  • Participate in safety audits and programs and provide emergency response when needed.
  • Make sure safety and environmental regulations are followed.
  • 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.

Sample job titles

  • acid plant operator
  • chemical process operator
  • chemical processing chief technician
  • chlor-alkali plant cell room operator
  • gas field production operator
  • gas plant operator
  • gas recovery operator
  • master operator
  • oil refinery process operator
  • panel operator
  • petroleum process operator
  • pharmaceutical processing operator
  • pipeline compressor station operator
  • process technician

Skills

You should be responsible and alert. Mechanical skill and strong computer skills are important. You must be able to work as part of a team.

Job requirements

  • High school is required. Mathematics, chemistry and physics subjects are often identified.
  • A college diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject may be needed for some positions.
  • Petroleum and chemical process operators and process technicians need 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 power 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.

Other considerations

There is movement among jobs within a company, often as part of a formal development or training program. Movement 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 company. Movement to supervisory or managerial positions is possible with experience. Personal protective equipment may be required for occupations in this unit group that may involve exposure to hazards of toxic, flammable or explosive chemicals.

By the numbers

Quick look

165

employed in 2016

97.0%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.4

median age

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

15,275

employed in 2016

83.2%

employed full-time

3.2%

self employed

27.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
72.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

29.4%

Cape Breton

29.4%

Halifax

23.5%

North Shore

8.8%

Southern

8.8%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

35.5%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

22.6%

Manufacturing

16.1%

Wholesale trade

6.5%

Professional, scientific and technical services

6.5%

Utilities

What is the age of Employment?

29.0%

45-54

26.0%

35-44

20.0%

55-64

20.0%

25-34

6.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

24.5%

45-54

20.8%

55-64

19.3%

35-44

16.5%

25-34

15.0%

15-24

Top levels of education

54.5%

College Diploma

$58,745 median annual income
18.2%

Trade Certification

$75,745 median annual income
12.1%

High school

N/A
6.1%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A
6.1%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

38.1%

High school

$28,505 median annual income
23.3%

Less than high school

$19,224 median annual income
19.9%

College Diploma

$38,781 median annual income
12.2%

Trade Certification

$43,975 median annual income
4.5%

Bachelor

$39,715 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair and maintain industrial machinery and equipment such as cranes, pumps, engines and motors, pneumatic tools, conveyor systems, production machinery, marine deck machinery, and steam propulsion, refinery, and pipeline-distribution systems.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Stationary Energy Sources Installer and Operator (Canada)

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to install, repair, operate, and maintain large power sources that could include generating electricity and heat.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Power Engineer

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, Technical Safety Division
PO Box 697
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
(844) 424-3200

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, Occupational Health and Safety Division
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.