What does a Process Operator do?

Process operators oversee and manage a full production at a manufacturing plant or similar industrial facility by monitoring equipment to ensure its quality, safety, and efficiency remain intact. They also ensure operations run safely and that essential maintenance of the facility’s equipment and instruments is regularly performed, and they troubleshoot these features when necessary. Process operators program and operate the facility’s computer system that directly operates its machinery. They use this system to start a plant up and shut it down and run the production of materials.

Process operators conduct constant inspections and identify abnormalities including broken equipment or safety issues. When a problem is identified, they compose a report and ensure necessary repairs, equipment adjustments, or proper responses have been instituted and that supervisors have been notified. Process operators ensure products under their supervision meet specifications and requirements, leading them to gather samples for lab analysis and perform quality control analysis on the product. Process operators need a high school diploma or equivalency, including a GED and technical or vocational training in safety protocols and heavy machinery.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Process Operator Salaries

Average Base Pay

$78,557 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$44K
Median: $79K
$139K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Process Operator Career Path

Learn how to become a Process Operator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Process Operator
$78,557/yr
L3
See Career Path

Process Operator Insights

Read what Process Operator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Chevron Phillips ChemicalChevron Phillips Chemical
Process Operator
Jan. 21, 2020

“compensation is competitive but nothing else they advertise is true once you make it to the facility.”

HealthEdge SoftwareHealthEdge Software
Process Modeler
Jul. 23, 2021

“The final round with HR was the best HR round I have attended so far.”

Howmet AerospaceHowmet Aerospace
Metal Cell Operator
Oct. 25, 2021

“HR doesn't listen to any complaints from hourly people I have been harassed and cussed at and when I went to HR they did nothing.”

Morgan Advanced MaterialsMorgan Advanced Materials
Process Operator
Jun. 9, 2021

“The pay was good and bonuses”

PPGPPG
Chemical Process Operator
Jan. 9, 2020

“Insurance is average and expensive for what you get.”

DowDow
Chemical Process Operator
Jan. 23, 2021

“Good pay but not the best compared to other chemical companies”

Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas
Process Operator
Sep. 15, 2021

“Presents a good opportunity for career beginners in Oil and Gas”

TotalEnergiesTotalEnergies
Process Operator
Jun. 28, 2021

“Interesting work and good compensation”

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Process Operator Interviews

Related Careers

Engineer
$80,839
No skills overlap
Project Engineer
$83,485
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Process Engineer
$82,720
13% skills overlap
Operator
$64,002
13% skills overlap

Process Operator jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a process operator

When working as a process operator, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Antennas, Creative Problem Solving, Lean Six Sigma, Pipeline and Business Processes.

The most similar professions to process operator are:
  • Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Operator

The most common qualifications to become a process operator is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.