hourly pay for Chemical Plant and System Operators
do Chemical Plant and System Operators make a lot of money

Chemical Plant and System Operators

Other names for this job might include Ammonia Still Operator, Ammonia Technician, Badger Distiller Operator, Bucket Wash Operator, Checker, Chemical Operator, Chemical Plant Operator, Chemical Treatment Plant Technician, Chief Operator, Denitrator

  • $59430
  • 57%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
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How Much Do Chemical Plant Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Chemical Plant and System Operators make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Chemical Plant and System Operator will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$59430 per year
Hourly wage
$28.570 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Chemical Plant Operators make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Chemical Plant Operators is $59430. Their salary can also be as low as $35050 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $81970 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $28.570 and can range from $16.850 to $39.410 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Chemical Plant Operator will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Chemical Plant Operator to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Chemical Plant Operators make with other careers, they have a salary rank of B.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$39.410$81970
Senior (Top 25%)$35.200$73210
Middle (Mid 50%)$28.810$59920
Junior (Bottom 25%)$22.170$46110
No experience (Bottom 10%)$16.850$35050

Entry-level Chemical Plant Operators who starts out at $46110 can expect to make $59920 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $16.850 per hour while the top 10% makes over $39.410 per hour.

While the median wage is $59920 per annum or $28.810 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing32.1366830
Plastics Product Manufacturing32.1366830
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing29.8162000
Scientific Research and Development Services29.0960510
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences29.0960510
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing28.2958850
Basic Chemical Manufacturing28.0358310
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills27.557210
Paper Manufacturing27.356780
Machinery Manufacturing27.1756510
Chemical Manufacturing27.0256200
All industries, private ownership only27.0156180
All industries27.0156170
Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing26.6955520
Federal, State, and Local Government26.0454160
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service26.0454160
Management of Companies and Enterprises2654090
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services25.3352690
Soap, Cleaning Compound, and Toilet Preparation Manufacturing25.1852380
Wholesale Trade24.9651920
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods24.9651920
Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing24.8751730
Paint, Coating, and Adhesive Manufacturing24.2850500
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing23.8849670
Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers23.8349570
Mining (except Oil and Gas)23.5248920
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services22.246180
Administrative and Support Services22.0945940
Employment Services22.0945940
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing22.0845930
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing19.5340630
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing19.5340630
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services18.4838440
Primary Metal Manufacturing17.3736140

Not all industries pay the same for Chemical Plant and System Operators.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Chemical Plant Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like ND doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at ND may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Chemical Plant Operators are in the states of ND, WY, LA, TX and NE. The average salary in ND is $70570.

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Rank: C
Salary: $46700

They tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.
Rank: C+
Salary: $41150

They set up, operate, or tend continuous flow or vat-type equipment; filter presses; shaker screens; centrifuges; condenser tubes; precipitating, fermenting, or evaporating tanks; scrubbing towers; or batch stills. These machines extract, sort, or separate liquids, gases, or solids from other materials to recover a refined product. Includes dairy processing equipment operators.
Rank: B
Salary: $63160

They operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
Rank: D
Salary: $49150

They operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.
Rank: C
Salary: $55430

They operate steam, gas, electric motor, or internal combustion engine driven compressors. Transmit, compress, or recover gases, such as butane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and natural gas.

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Career type

Production Green Increased Demand
Manufacturing Production Process Development, Production

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