Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Oxidation Operator
  • Outside Operator
  • Operator
  • Nitroglycerin Separator Operator
  • Nitroglycerin Neutralizer
  • Nitroglycerin Distributor
  • Neutralizer
  • MVA Still Operator (Monovinylacetylene Still Operator)
  • MVA Reactor Operator (Monovinylacetylene Reactor Operator)
  • MVA Operator (Monovinylacetylene Operator)
View All

What They Do

  • Inventory supplies received and consumed.
  • Make minor repairs, lubricate, and maintain equipment, using hand tools.
  • Flush or clean equipment, using steam hoses or mechanical reamers.
  • Drain equipment and pump water or other solutions through to flush and clean tanks or equipment.
  • Direct activities of workers assisting in control or verification of processes or in unloading of materials.
  • Observe and compare colors and consistencies of products to instrument readings and to laboratory and standard test results.
  • Add treating or neutralizing agents to products and pump products through filters or centrifuges to remove impurities or to precipitate products.
  • Estimate materials required for production and manufacturing of products.
  • Notify maintenance engineers of equipment malfunctions.
  • Dump or scoop prescribed solid, granular, or powdered materials into equipment.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Preparation Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.


In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $48,120 with most people making between $22,860 and $76,990


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,800 people in California. It is projected that there will be 3,000 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 20 openings due to growth and about 90 replacement openings for approximately 110 total annual openings.