Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators (NOC 9232)

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Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2016-2018)
Minimum Not published
Median Not published
Maximum Not published
Job prospect
(2017-2021)
Employment in 2016
1,500
Skill level
Technical (usually a college or secondary school vocational diploma)

Nature of work

Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators monitor and operate petroleum, petrochemical and chemical plants and monitor, adjust and maintain processing units and equipment in these plants. They are employed by petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical companies and industrial, agricultural and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Main duties

  • Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Operate electronic or computerized control panel from a central control room to monitor and optimize physical and chemical processes for several processing units
  • - Control process start-up, shut-down and troubleshooting
  • - Monitor outside process equipment
  • - Continued…
  • - Adjust equipment, valves, pumps and controls and process equipment
  • - Authorize or co-sign maintenance work orders
  • - Shut down, isolate and prepare process units or production equipment for maintenance
  • - Sample products, perform tests, record data, carry out statistical process control on process operations, and write production logs
  • - Develop operator procedures for normal operation, start-up or shut-down of unit
  • - Participate in safety audits and programs and provide emergency response when required
  • - Ensure adherence to safety and environmental regulations
  • - May rotate between different processing units during shift cycles
  • - May work in a team with shared supervisory responsibilities and participate in training other workers
  • - May be cross-trained in a skilled trade and work in the trade during shift cycles.

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school is required. Mathematics, chemistry and physics subjects are often specified.
  • * A college diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject may be required for some positions.
  • * Petroleum and chemical process operators and process technicians require completion of several years of formal company training.
  • * Experience as a petroleum or chemical process operator in all the operating units controlled by the central control room is required for chief operators.
  • * Company certification as a petroleum process operator or technician may be required.
  • * A provincial stationary engineer licence, compressor operator or refrigeration certificate may be required when certain kinds of equipment are included in the process.
  • * Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting, or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required.

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Information on the occupation