NOC 9232 – Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators



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.

There is considerable mobility among jobs within a company, often as part of a formal development or training program.

Mobility to other petroleum or chemical processing plants is possible, but may be limited by the usual practice of training and promoting workers from within the establishment.

Progression to supervisory or managerial positions is possible with experience.

Occupations in this unit group may involve exposure to hazards of toxic, flammable or explosive chemicals and personal protective equipment may be required.

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
  • 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.

All Titles

  • absorption operator
  • absorption plant operator
  • acid mixer operator
  • acid plant operator
  • alkylation chief operator
  • alkylation operator
  • alkylation tower tender
  • alum-liquor plant operator
  • ammonia plant operator
  • antibiotics fermenter
  • assistant operator – chemical processing
  • batching chemical process operator
  • benzol agitator operator
  • bitumen extraction plant operator
  • bitumen upgrading plant operator
  • blender, petroleum
  • blender, propellants
  • boardman/woman – chemical processingboardman – chemical processing, boardwoman – chemical processing
  • brine equipment tender
  • brine purification operator
  • burner operator – petroleum
  • catalyst operator, gasoline
  • catalytic cracking unit operator
  • caustic cell operator
  • cell room operator, chlor-alkali plant
  • chemical process operator
  • chemical process unit operator
  • chemical roaster
  • chief operator – chemical processing
  • chief operator, batching process
  • chief operator, continuous process
  • chief operator, synthesis
  • chief technician, chemical processing
  • chlorination plant operator
  • chlorine plant operator
  • coal gas exhaust operator
  • coal tar distiller
  • column operator – chemical processing
  • compressor operator, gas processing
  • compressor operator, natural gas
  • compressor station operator – pipelines
  • control panel operator – chemical processing
  • controller – oil
  • controller, oil movement
  • cracking plant operator
  • desulphurizer operator
  • dispatcher, gas
  • dispatcher, oil
  • dissolver-precipitator
  • distillation operator
  • distillation operator, petroleum
  • explosives senior operator
  • fertilizer maker, phosphate process
  • filter operator – petroleum, gas and chemical processing
  • fractionator operator
  • fuel gas treater
  • gas control coordinator
  • gas control operator
  • gas controller
  • gas dispatcher
  • gas field operator
  • gas field production operator
  • gas liquefaction and regasification plant operator
  • gas pipeline operator
  • gas plant operator
  • gas pressure regulator
  • gas processing controller
  • gas recovery operator
  • gasoline catalyst operator
  • gas-treating unit operator
  • gauger, oil
  • gauger, pipelines
  • glycerine refiner
  • glycerine refinery operator
  • grease maker
  • heavy water chemical process operator
  • hydrogen process plant operator
  • lead operator – chemical processing
  • liquefaction plant operator
  • master operator – chemical processing
  • mixer, wet explosives
  • naphthalene clarifier
  • nitric acid oxidation plant operator
  • nitrocellulose maker
  • nitroglycerine maker
  • nitroglycerine nitrator operator
  • nitroglycerine separator
  • nitroglycerine separator operator
  • oil blender
  • oil controller
  • oil dispatcher
  • oil field production operator
  • oil field pumper
  • oil movement controller
  • oil movement coordinator
  • oil pipeline operator
  • oil refiner
  • oil refinery process operator
  • operating technician – chemical processing
  • operations technician – chemical processing
  • operator, catalytic conversion
  • operator, chemical process
  • operator, chemical process unit
  • operator, chlorination plant
  • operator, compressor station – pipelines
  • operator, control panel – chemical processing
  • operator, desulphurizing unit
  • operator, distillation equipment
  • operator, filter – petroleum, gas and chemical processing
  • operator, fractionator – petroleum
  • operator, heavy water chemical process
  • operator, liquefaction plant
  • operator, nitric acid oxidation plant
  • operator, oxygen recovery plant
  • operator, panel – chemical processing
  • operator, petroleum process
  • operator, petroleum refinery
  • operator, pharmaceutical processing
  • operator, polymerization unit
  • operator, power switchboard – chemical processing
  • operator, production – chemical processing
  • operator, purification – chemical processing
  • operator, refinery
  • oxygen recovery plant operator
  • panel operator – chemical processing
  • petroleum process operator
  • petroleum refiner
  • petroleum refinery operator
  • petroleum unit operator
  • pharmaceutical processing operator
  • pilot plant tender
  • pipeline compressor station operator
  • pipeline gauger
  • polymerization kettle operator
  • polymerization unit operator
  • power switchboard operator – chemical
  • process control system operator
  • process technician – chemical processingprocess technician
  • processing laboratory operator
  • processing operator – chemical processing
  • processor, sterile products – chemical processing
  • production operator – chemical processing
  • propellant blender
  • pump station operator – pipelines
  • pumping station operator
  • purification operator – chemical processing
  • refinery operator
  • refinery process technician
  • rotary furnace tender – chemical processing
  • senior operating technician
  • senior operator – chemical processing
  • sterile products processor – chemical processing
  • sulphuric acid plant operator
  • tank farm operator
  • technician, process – chemical processing
  • technician, refinery process
  • tender, pilot plant
  • thermal acid equipment operator
  • treater, fuel gas
  • treater, petroleum
  • upgrader process operator – petroleum
  • wet explosives mixer


  • Chemical plant machine operators (9421)
  • Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities (9212)



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