Exploring Manufacturing CareersChemical System Operator

In our educational series, we explore different careers in manufacturing.

Chemical system operators are responsible for the continued functioning of chemical systems or processes. Their tasks involve adjusting equipment controls to ensure that chemical reactions take place at the right conditions. They constantly check if the process conditions are being met through indicators found in various instruments, like industrial liquid flowmeters and panel lights. They also note down instrument readings and other important data for record-keeping and monitoring purposes. Other tasks include washing reactor vessels with the use of pumps and putting products to blending vessels.

Chemical system operators conduct regular patrols of the plant to see their physical condition firsthand. One important goal of these rounds is to see to it that the solutions placed in large tanks remain at regular levels and are not going to spill over. Even when they are in their offices and watching the chemical reactions through their monitors, chemical system operators must be quick to identify signs that adjustments in the process must be made. They may also make process adjustments based on the results of laboratory tests. To ensure that products meet standards, they regularly draw product samples and send them to the laboratory for testing.

In the event of emergencies, chemical system operators may be tasked with turning off equipment when directed to do so by their supervisors. Shutting down operations is sometimes necessary to avert further damage in these situations. They also meet with members of the technical team to find solutions to issues that affect the quality of the product and safety of the operations and their personnel.

In a typical work day, chemical system operators work with various tools and equipment which include but are not limited to calorimeters, processing tanks, storage drums, control boards and panel boards, chemical tanks and industrial fans. They should also be familiar with different types of industrial control software and network security software programs.

Why Become a Chemical System Operator

A career as a chemical system operator is ideal for those who love to work with machines, tools and equipment and find fulfillment in doing hands-on, practical work that does not involve too much paper work. It is also best for individuals who want to do routine activities where active monitoring of equipment is required. Those who are keenly interested in chemical processes at work and have background knowledge on the production and disposal of chemicals will enjoy being a chemical system operator.

Chemical System Operator Work Environment

Chemical system operators are found in companies involved in basic chemical manufacturing as well as in firms that make such materials as synthetic rubber, resin, pesticides, fertilizers and medicines and pharmaceuticals. The possibility of injuries and exposure to toxic fumes exist since the work environment is filled with chemicals and can be potentially hazardous. However, this can be avoided by wearing protective equipment like hard hats, glasses and gloves. Most of the work is done indoors, except if there are storage tanks that they need to check outdoors. Chemical system operators put a premium on accuracy since serious repercussions can result from errors.

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