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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Plant Operations Technicians in San Jose, California

If you want to be a chemical plant operations technician, the San Jose, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for chemical plant operations technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 20.6% over the next eight years. Chemical plant operations technicians generally control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.

Chemical plant operations technicians earn approximately $29 per hour or $61,420 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $25 per hour or $52,480 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Chemical and Gas, people working as chemical plant operations technicians in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Chemical and Gas nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can study to be a chemical plant operations technician, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the San Jose area. Chemical plant operations technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a chemical plant operations technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemical Plant Operations Technician

Chemical Plant Operations Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, chemical plant operations technicians control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.

Chemical plant operations technicians talk with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety and product quality. They also regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel. Equally important, chemical plant operations technicians have to control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment. They are often called upon to monitor recording instruments and other indicators, and listen for warning signals, in order to confirm conformity of process conditions. They are expected to draw samples of products, and conduct quality control tests in order to track processing, and to insure that standards are met. Finally, chemical plant operations technicians direct staff working on operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.

Every day, chemical plant operations technicians are expected to be able to focus attention on specific tasks without being distracted. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for chemical plant operations technicians to turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks or neutralizer tanks. They are often called upon to inspect operating units such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks and driers to insure that all are functioning, and to maintain maximum efficiency. They also interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors, and review laboratory test summaries for process adjustments. They are sometimes expected to patrol work areas to insure that solutions in tanks and troughs are not in danger of overflowing. Somewhat less frequently, chemical plant operations technicians are also expected to record operating data such as process conditions and instrument readings.

They also have to be able to defrost frozen valves, using steam hoses and direct staff working on operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products. And finally, they sometimes have to talk with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety and product quality.

Like many other jobs, chemical plant operations technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Engraver. Engrave or etch metal, wood, or other materials for identification or decorative purposes. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
  • Gas Plant Operator. Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
  • Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of 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.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Plant Operations Technician Training

Las Positas College - Livermore, CA

Las Positas College, 3033 Collier Cyn Rd, Livermore, CA 94551-7650. Las Positas College is a medium sized college located in Livermore, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,098 students. Las Positas College has an associate's degree program in Chemical Technology/Technician.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.