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Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
SOC Code: 51-9011.00

Operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.

Sample of reported job titles: Chemical Operator, Chlorination Operator, Multiskill Operator, Operator, Outside Operator, Process Operator, Production Operator, Production Technician, Spray Dry Operator, Vessel Operator

Tasks

  • Observe safety precautions to prevent fires or explosions.
  • Record operational data, such as temperatures, pressures, ingredients used, processing times, or test results.
  • Control or operate equipment in which chemical changes or reactions take place during the processing of industrial or consumer products.
  • Patrol work areas to detect leaks or equipment malfunctions or to monitor operating conditions.
  • Draw samples of products at specified stages so that analyses can be performed.
  • Adjust controls to regulate temperature, pressure, feed, or flow of liquids or gases and times of prescribed reactions, according to knowledge of equipment and processes.
  • Monitor gauges, recording instruments, flowmeters, or products to ensure that specified conditions are maintained.
  • Test product samples for specific gravity, chemical characteristics, pH levels, concentrations, or viscosities or send them to laboratories for testing.
  • Inspect equipment or units to detect leaks or malfunctions, shutting equipment down if necessary.
  • Open valves or start pumps, agitators, reactors, blowers, or automatic feed of materials.
  • Read plant specifications to determine products, ingredients, or prescribed modifications of plant procedures.
  • Implement appropriate industrial emergency response procedures.
  • Measure, weigh, and mix chemical ingredients, according to specifications.
  • Dump or scoop prescribed solid, granular, or powdered materials into equipment.
  • Notify maintenance engineers of equipment malfunctions.
  • Estimate materials required for production and manufacturing of products.
  • Add treating or neutralizing agents to products and pump products through filters or centrifuges to remove impurities or to precipitate products.
  • Observe and compare colors and consistencies of products to instrument readings and to laboratory and standard test results.
  • Direct activities of workers assisting in control or verification of processes or in unloading of materials.
  • Drain equipment and pump water or other solutions through to flush and clean tanks or equipment.
  • Flush or clean equipment, using steam hoses or mechanical reamers.
  • Make minor repairs, lubricate, and maintain equipment, using hand tools.
  • Inventory supplies received and consumed.

Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air dryers - Batch dryers; Belt dryers; Pneumatic conveying dryers; Rotary cylindrical dryers (see all 8 examples)
  • Air filters - Industrial filters
  • Air scrubbers
  • Augers
  • Barometers
  • Belt conveyors
  • Bi distillation units - Distillers
  • Blowers
  • Bucket conveyors - Bucket elevators
  • Capacitance meters - Capacitance probes
  • Catalytic converters
  • Centrifugal pumps
  • Chain conveyors
  • Chemical tanks - Blending vessels; Chemical reactor vessels
  • Circulation heaters
  • Collection tanks - Collectors
  • Colorimeters
  • Crystallizers
  • Deionization or demineralization equipment - Demineralizers
  • Density gradient fractionators - Fractionators
  • Evaporative coolers - Cooling towers; Tray towers
  • Extracting equipment for laboratories - Extractors
  • Facial shields - Protective face shields
  • Fans - Axial flow fans; Centrifugal fans
  • Filtering machinery - Filler presses
  • Fire blankets
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flowmeters - Flow meters
  • Gas chromatographs - Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gas recovery machinery - Gas expanders; Recovery units
  • Gear pumps
  • Goggles - Chemical splash goggles; Safety goggles
  • Grease guns
  • Hazardous material protective apparel - Personal protective equipment
  • Heat exchangers
  • Humidifiers
  • Hydraulic accumulators
  • Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers - Blenders
  • Laboratory evaporators
  • Laboratory separators - Gas-liquid separators; Liquid-liquid separators
  • Ladders
  • Logging instruments for water wells - Calibrated rods
  • Manometers
  • Metal fabric media - Media filters
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Positive displacement pumps
  • Power buffers - Waxing buffers
  • Pressure sensors - Bourdon tubes; Pressure gauges
  • Processing tanks - Agitator tanks; Neutralizer tanks
  • Reactors
  • Reactors or fermenters or digesters - Chemical reactors
  • Reamer - Mechanical reamers
  • Reciprocating compressors
  • Reciprocating pumps
  • Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories - Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Respirators - Air purifying respirators
  • Reverse osmosis equipment - Reverse osmosis systems
  • Rotary pumps
  • Rotating shakers - Rotating equipment
  • Safety shoes
  • Screw conveyor - Screw conveyors
  • Screwdrivers
  • Special hoses - Steam hoses
  • Spectrometers - Infrared spectroscopic equipment
  • Spectrophotometers - Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometers
  • Spray dryers
  • Standard fermentation units - Fermentation chambers
  • Steam engines - Steam turbines
  • Storage tanks - Soap-spray storage tanks; Storage drums
  • Surface thermometers - Digital surface thermometers
  • Thermocouple probes - Thermocouple temperature probes
  • Thermocouples
  • Turbine engines - Combustion gas turbines
  • Two way radios
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Water purification equipment - Brine concentrators; Water clarifiers
  • Water softening accessories - Water softeners
  • Welding masks - Welding helmets

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities

  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Interests

  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 61% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Electronic Mail - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 55% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 52% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 60% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 53% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 40% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 45% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 49% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 45% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 44% responded “Very important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 45% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos - 24% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 43% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 42% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Physical Proximity - 36% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
49%High school diploma or equivalent
21%Some college, no degree
14%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $22.98 hourly, $47,800 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 74,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 7,300

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