Job type

Chemical plant operator

£18k - £35k

Typical salary

42 – 44

Hours per week

Chemical plant process operators control machinery that makes chemical products, like cleaning fluids and cosmetics

More info

  • Requires observation and recording skills, to be thorough and pay attention to detail and knowledge of chemistry
  • With further study, option to become a process technician
  • You'll normally work in a chemical processing plant and wear protective clothing

The chemical plant operator works within a processing facility and is tasked with maintaining a safe working environment for everyone in the facility. They will need to operate machinery and perform routine inspections of equipment to ensure they are in proper working order.


  • Setting up production machinery
  • Mixing and loading raw materials into tanks
  • Reading instruments and making adjustments to settings
  • Taking samples and recording data to monitor quality
  • Packing and storing finished batches
  • Stock control
  • Cleaning and maintaining machinery
  • Reporting problems and following strict health and safety guidelines


As a chemical plant operator you could work in an office, in a laboratory or at a manufacturing plant.

You'll need

There are no set requirements to become a Chemical plant operator, you can apply directly for jobs however some employers may ask for GCSEs in Maths, English, IT and a science subject, or equivalent qualifications.

You may be asked to take a maths test along with other assessments, and pass a medical at the interview stage.

Previous experience in the manufacturing and processing industries would be an advantage. A forklift truck certificate may be useful.

You can also get into this job through a science manufacturing process operative intermediate apprenticeship, or you could take a college course, which would give you some of the skills and knowledge needed in the job, for example a level 1 Certificate in Applied Science and a level 2 Diploma in Process Technology.


With experience, you could move into quality control, lab work, maintenance or shift management.

With further study, you could become a process technician.