Chemical plant machine operators (NOC 9421)

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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 (2017-2019)
Minimum 12.50$
Median 22.21$
Maximum 33.00$
Job prospect
(2019-2023)
Employment in 2018
4,000
Skill level
Intermediate (generally a secondary school diploma)

Nature of work

Chemical plant machine operators monitor and operate units and machinery to blend, mix, process and package a wide range of specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletry products. They are primarily employed in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries, but may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries.

Main duties

  • Chemical plant machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Monitor meters, gauges and electronic instrumentation on one or more chemical or formulation units, such as mixers, kettles, blenders, dryers, tabletting, encapsulation, granulation and coating machines
  • - Measure, weigh and load chemical ingredients following formulation cards
  • - Start up, shut down, troubleshoot and clean equipment
  • - Continued…
  • - Adjust processing machines and equipment
  • - Monitor reaction processes and transfers of products in conformance with safety procedures
  • - Take samples and perform routine chemical and physical tests of products
  • - Record production data
  • - May operate equipment from a control room or from control consoles located near the production units.

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • * Completion of several months to one year of informal, on-the-job training within the company is required for most mixer and blender operators.
  • * Completion of more than one year of formal and informal company training may be required for some operators working in pharmaceutical, explosives and agricultural chemical or in specialty chemical plants.
  • * Previous experience in chemical products processing as an assistant, labourer or helper may be required for some occupations in this unit group.
  • * Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required for some occupations in this unit group.

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