Is Plant Operator a Good Career Path?

by Usama Chaudry on May 24, 2022

Are you shaky about pursuing a plant operator career?

Let us help you!

This article will list down the solid reasons why a plant operator job is suitable for you, the educational requirements, skills, and the job responsibilities of plant operators.

Furthermore, we will also let you know about the average plant operator’s salary and how you can secure a plant operator job in Canada.

Ready to discover why a plant operator career is a right choice for you?

Let’s dive in.

What Do Plant Operators Do?

Plant operators are responsible for operating heavy machinery and equipment employed in industrial and production activities.

They can run cranes, excavators, backhoes, and bulldozers to grade, dig, move, and load soil, gravel, and other materials in civil construction.

Throughout their entire plant operator career, these workers can excel in the functioning of a specific plant category or gain experience with a range of machines and tools.

A plant operator’s job may involve digging trenches, excavating, smashing rocks, hauling materials, and performing various other tasks.

Reasons Why Being a Plant Operator is Good for You

Following are some reasons demonstrating why a plant operator career is an excellent fit for you:

  1. Higher salary
  2. The work is encouraging
  3. Job stability
  4. Staying vigorous
  5. Learn new skills

Reason#1: Higher Salary

A plant operator career can be a lucrative career option for individuals who prioritize making money. The average annual plant operator’s salary is usually higher than the national median, with some employees making more than CAD 70,251 annually. Moreover, you’ll most probably be able to climb up the ranks by gaining sufficient experience in construction management, budgeting, lift planning, or monitoring.

Reason#2: The Work is Encouraging

Unlike a traditional office job, a plant operator job allows you to function outside on a routine basis, with a constantly changing work timetable and attaining immediate results of your efforts. The more significant effort you lay in, the higher you’ll benefit from working as a plant operator, which several people find incredibly encouraging.

Reason#3: Job Stability

Types of construction jobs are constantly expanding, and companies are known for preferring people with plant operator qualifications. So if you desire long-term job stability, then pursuing a plant operator career is the right choice for you.

Reason#4: Staying Vigorous

Performing duties in a construction workplace every day is beneficial for maintaining the mind and body in good shape. If you’ve ever had a conventional office job, you understand how exhausting it can be. People become lethargic sitting at desks all day in front of computer screens. On the other hand, a plant operator’s job requires constant movement throughout the site. This keeps plant operators active and their minds sharp.

Reason#5: Learn New Skills

As a plant operator, you will constantly learn new skills and techniques to help keep the plant running smoothly. You will need to be able to troubleshoot problems and make quick decisions to keep the plant running efficiently. With experience, you will become a valuable asset to the company and will be able to advance your career.

Duties & Responsibilities of a Plant Operator

A plant operator is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of a plant or factory. They oversee the production process and ensure that all machinery and equipment run smoothly. Plant operators typically work in manufacturing or industrial settings but can also be found in other industries such as power generation and food processing.

The duties and responsibilities of a plant operator may vary depending on the type of plant or factory they are working in. However, there are some typical duties, and responsibilities typically carried out by all plant operators. These include:

  • Monitoring the production process and ensuring that all machinery and equipment are running smoothly
  • Troubleshooting any issues that may arise during the production process
  • Making adjustments to the machinery and equipment as necessary
  • Keeping the work area clean and tidy
  • Following all safety procedures and regulations
  • Ensuring that all production deadlines are met
  • Maintaining accurate records of production output

Average Salary of a Plant Operator

The average plant operator’s salary is CAD 53,528 per year in Canada, which translates to CAD 27.45 per hour.

Entry-level plant operator jobs have a starting salary of CAD 42,900 per year or CAD 22 per hour. On the other hand, the most experienced plant operators earn up to CAD 70,251 per year or CAD 36.03 per hour.

Educational Requirements for the Plant Operator

Following are the educational requirements essential for a plant operator career:

  • Completion of secondary education.
  • Acquiring a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must have a firm grasp of science, mathematics, and other technical subjects.
  • Completion of plant operation courses.
  • Obtaining a four-year bachelor’s or associate’s degree in science or maths.
  • Earning a master’s degree in similar subjects.
  • Attaining Civil Construction Plant Operations Certification.

Skills and Competencies Required for the Plant Operator

Here is a list of the skills and competencies required for a successful plant operator career:

Attention to Detail:

Plant operators must give high attention to even the tiniest details. They must acquire these skills as the plant operator’s job entails supervising complicated equipment to ensure that everything is in working order.

Mechanical Proficiency:

Plant operators must have solid mechanical skills to run, upkeep, and mend a range of gear, machinery, and equipment.

Highly Focused:

Plant operators must be focused entirely on their multitude of responsibilities while trying to dodge any distractions and carrying out their duties meticulously.

Excellent Strength and Stamina:

A plant operator’s nature of work may include prolonged periods of manual effort. Possessing remarkable physical strength and stamina can enable you to handle your responsibilities and provide exceptional service from the start to the end of your workday.


When doing a plant operator job, your boss may expect you to fulfill your responsibilities without the oversight of a supervisor. So it’s imperative to strive to be productive and keep a record of your progress to complete the job demands on your own.

In-Demand Regions for the Plant Operator Jobs in Canada

Following are the in-demand regions for plant operator jobs in Canada:

  • Conklin, Alberta
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut
  • Fort Nelson, British Columbia
  • Rimouski, Quebec
  • Slave Lake, Alberta
  • Moncton, New Brunswick
  • La Crête, Alberta
  • Bedford, Nova Scotia
  • Saint Leonard, New Brunswick
  • Grande Prairie, Alberta
  • Fort Saint John, British Columbia
  • Peace River, Alberta
  • Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
  • Crossfield, Alberta
  • Watford, Ontario

How to Get a Job as a Plant Operator in Canada

These are the plant operator requirements you can fulfill to gain a plant operator job in Canada:

  • Acquire a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree in technical subjects.
  • Gain at least one year of experience through a formal training program.
  • Attain extensive on-the-job training.
  • Enroll in an apprenticeship program to hone your practical skills.
  • Obtain Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Certification.
  • Acquire 2nd or 3rd Class Power Engineering Certification.
  • Pass the mandatory driving test to attain a Valid Class 5 driver’s license.
  • Obtain an H2S Alive License.
  • Clear the drug and alcohol test.
  • Establish contacts with industrial experts through social media platforms.

If you are looking for a reliable platform to apply for plant operator jobs, you can check our job listings. We are a leading employment agency in Canada, providing many jobs in different industries.


If you love working with your hands rather than sitting in a typical exhausting office environment, you should pursue a plant operator career. Plant operator jobs offer numerous benefits, whether it be higher salary, immense job stability, or staying active and energetic.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


The Primus Workforce team is proudly built on hands-on industry knowledge and experience.