Chemical plant machine operators (NOC 9421)

About this job

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
  • work mainly in chemical, cleaning compound, ink and adhesive industries
  • may also be employed by chemical processing departments in other industries
Common job titles
  • acid pumper
  • asphalt coater / heater
  • attendant, acetylene plant
  • battery acid adjuster / paste maker
  • bleacher, oils / wax
  • blender, glue / powder / vinyl / asbestos


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
  • 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

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a regular controlled indoor environment.
  • The workplace may contain hazardous chemicals.
  • Working with equipment, instruments, machinery or power/hand tools may be a source of injury.
  • The workplace may contain strong or toxic odours.
  • Noise in the workplace may cause distraction or hearing loss.
  • Personal protective equipment may be needed when working with some types of chemicals or pharmaceuticals.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Movement between employers producing similar products is possible for some of the more skilled operators in this group. Progression to supervisory positions or to process control occupations is possible with experience.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.