Chemical Plant Machine Operators

NOC 9421


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.


  • 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.

Other Titles

  • Acidulation plant tender
  • Batch mixer – chemical processing
  • Soap maker
  • Screener – chemical processing
  • Formulations blender operator
  • Evaporator operator – chemical processing

(Government of Canada National Occupation Classification)


  • Quality control and assurance
  • Decision-making
  • Troubleshooting
  • Numeracy
  • Physical stamina
  • Time management
  • Coordination
  • Equipment maintenance

Education/Training Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required

Post-secondary diploma/degree

  • Not required;
    • Several months to one year of informal, on-the-job training within the company is required for most mixer and blender operators
    • 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


  • Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required for some occupations

Potential Earnings in Durham Region

The average and median wages and salaries for individuals employed as chemical plant machine operators are as follows. Place of Residence (POR) is defined as individuals who reside within the Durham Region. Place of Work (POW) is defined as individuals who are employed within the Durham Region.

Median Wages and Salaries (POW) Average Wages and Salaries (POW) Median Wages and Salaries (POR) Average Wages and Salaries (POR)
$60,851 $54,049 $76,319 $64,197

Employment Prospects

Industry (NAICS) Jobs in Durham Region (POW) Durham Region Residents Employed (POR)
3254 – Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing 75 0

(Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 2016 data in Durham Workforce Authority’s 2017 Sector Report)

Additional Resources

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