Plant operator job description

Updated March 23, 2017

A plant operator is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of plant and equipment used in construction and maintenance activities. He also ensures routine maintenance of this equipment. A plant operator can work in various capacities with such job titles as power plant operator and chemical plant operator.


A plant operator controls plant equipment such as loaders, drills, tractors, trucks, crushers, excavators, fork lifts, bulldozers and cranes. He handles materials and cargo used at the construction site. A plant operator also carries out preventive and routine maintenance of the plant and equipment at a construction site. He moves and handles equipment at the project site while also carrying out safety checks on equipment daily.


A plant operator should have at least a secondary level education preferably with subjects including arithmetic, calculus, geometry, statistics, algebra, English, design and technology. A college or vocational school degree is also desirable, even though it is not mandatory. Most plant operators get on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction once they are recruited. A plant operator must also take refresher courses yearly for a number of hours required by the company they are working for.

Desirable skills

A plant operate should have the ability to carry out routine maintenance of equipment and also find out maintenance needs and operating errors on equipment. A plant operator should also be able to identify the types of tools and equipment needed to carry out a particular project. He should be familiar with the standards and code of ethics of plant operation.

Average Pay Rate

Plant operators earn an average of £28,600 annually. However the pay rate varies according to the company you work for, the industry, your work experience, the location of the job as well as benefits. Plant operators also receive bonus and overtime payments determined by respective employers.


A plant operator mostly works at the project site, and depending on the industry you work for; you might have to travel to the location of the project. Work especially involves standing and moving up and down.

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About the Author

Martin Muchira has been writing content for online businesses since 2008. He has written content for major companies like Air Asia and Comcast. Muchira graduated at the top of his class from Moi University with a Bachelor of Science in wood science and industrial processes.