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Occupation Details

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Chemical Plant Process Technician

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€25k > 77
Chemical Process Operator
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 77
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2017 stated that "The demand for engineers, typically for roles in pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturing, relates largely to those with significant experience (at least five years) in industry specific settings. Shortages include" electrical engineers (safety, tech. specification, mechatronics - development and integration of mechanical, electrical and software systems; power generation and transmission) technicians: quality assurance/control, process (e.g. injection moulding/polymer engineering), extrusion and maintenance."

9%
Occupational Category

Electrical, Electronic & Engineering Technicians

Also included in this category:

Installation engineers (electricity supplier); manufacturing technicians.

Number Employed:

7,800

Part time workers: 8%
Aged over 55: 17%
Male / Female: 91 / 9%
Non-Nationals: 10%
With Third Level: 72%
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At a Glance... header image

Chemical plant process technicians monitor the equipment and machinery used to make chemical products including colourants like dyes and paints, drugs and medicines and fertilisers.


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The Work header image

Chemical plant process technicians are responsible for highly automated systems which control chemical plants. Technicians check the meters, clocks and gauges that provide information on how the process is working. They may also take and analyse samples to check the products quality. Technicians often carry out simple or routine maintenance tasks on machines.  
In highly automated plants, experienced process technicians may work in a control centre. From here, they can monitor and control the whole process from computerised systems called DCS (Distributed Control Suite).  
 
The processes are highly technical and sometimes hazardous where raw materials are altered by such methods as heating, compression and molecular reconstruction. Because of the potential hazards involved, companies are extremely conscious of safety and environmental concerns, so technicians work to tight controls, standards and regulations. Health and Safety is a priority.  
 
They prepare and measure raw materials. Feed raw materials and processing agents into plant machinery, set controls and operate machinery and take samples for testing, test products and record process data.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, or yields.

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Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, or other indicators and listen for warning signals, to verify conformity of process conditions.

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Control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment.

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Record operating data, such as process conditions, test results, or instrument readings.

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Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.

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Draw samples of products and conduct quality control tests to monitor processing and to ensure that standards are met.

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Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.

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Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases or vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, or perfume to towers, or to add products to converter or blending vessels.

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Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.

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Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks or troughs are not in danger of overflowing.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material: Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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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.

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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.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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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.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a chemical plant technician, you must have good problem solving skills, because you will often deal with technical faults. You need a basic understanding of science and technology. The ability to work well in a team is essential. You will also need patience and the ability to pay close attention to detail, enjoy practical and manual activities, to be able to follow instructions and be physically fit, mechanical aptitude with good hand-eye coordination.


Related Occupationsheader image

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

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