Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Plant Operations Technicians in Chicago, Illinois
Chemical plant operations technician career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. There are currently 1,740 working chemical plant operations technicians in Illinois; this should shrink 17% to about 1,450 working chemical plant operations technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chemical plant operations technicians are expected to shrink by about 20.6%. In general, chemical plant operations technicians control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
Income for chemical plant operations technicians is about $24 hourly or $51,370 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $52,480 annually. Chemical plant operations technicians earn more than people working in the category of Chemical and Gas generally in Illinois and more than people in the Chemical and Gas category nationally.
The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a chemical plant operations technician. Given that the most common education level for chemical plant operations technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a chemical plant operations technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemical Plant Operations Technician
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 Chicago include:
- 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.
- Photographic Processing Machine Operator. Operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.
- Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Plant Operations Technician Training
City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College - Chicago, IL
City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640-6063. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,835 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College has an associate's degree program in Chemical Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.
Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.