Plant Operator - Certificate
This 24-week program (18 weeks on-campus + 6 week practicum) prepares you for entry level positions as a plant operator. You'll gain knowledge and develop the skills required to operate, monitor and troubleshoot control equipment and processing units found in most industrial settings. You'll learn about industrial plant functionality and gain a critical understanding of plant systems, process fundamentals, and plant operations.
What is a Plant Operator?
Plant operators are responsible for overseeing the production process of a plant facility. The goal of a process operator is to monitor equipment and improve the quality, efficiency and safety of the plant.
Plant operators supervise staff members and coordinate maintenance efforts to ensure control instruments are working properly. They also perform other administrative tasks such as recording test results and other data about the plant's operation. In addition, process operators are responsible for reporting problems with the production process or equipment to shift managers and maintenance engineers. In some cases, plant operators may need to carry out minor maintenance work and transport various items for shipment.
A person does not need any particular qualifications to become a plant operator. However, they do need to have an understanding of math and be able to pass an aptitude test, physical and medical exam at the interview stage. A person can also become a plant operator by completing an apprenticeship or taking a college course related to the skills and knowledge needed in the job. Plant operators usually work full-time, sometimes shift-work, often with benefits, for companies involved in the petroleum, agricultural and pharmaceutical industry.
Training Facility Provides Unique Advantage
You'll engage in a variety of classroom, shop and real-world activities. Learn the theoretical principles of operations and processes in the classroom, and apply your knowledge in our shop where you'll gain valuable experience by practicing various operational procedures.
During the 18 weeks of instructional time, you'll travel to 10 plant operations of various sizes throughout the West Kootenay such as Nelson Hydro, Teck, Mercer Celgar, a local brewery, Selkirk College, a local wastewater treatment plant, Oso Negro, a local sawmill, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (Trail) and a local arena. The goal is by the end of the tours, you will have a detailed record of the plants you have visited and a broad awareness of the operator duties and tasks at the various plants in our area.
Great Partnerships with Regional Industry
The Plant Operator Program usually has two intakes each year. The provincial government has bolstered funding in areas of trades that are anticipated to be in-demand over the coming years. Plant operators are considered one of those areas.
Upon completion of the on-campus component of the program, you'll embark on a practicum hosted by regional employers where you'll master operations in real industrial environments.
Upon successful completion of this program, learners will be able to:
- Conduct research relevant to plant operations
- Apply math skills as required
- Explain terms, concepts, and processes relevant to plant operations
- Operate plant equipment as required
- Utilize standard industry technology
- Demonstrate evolving problem-solving skills
- Demonstrate developing critical and creative thinking skills
- Communicate effectively and efficiently in various formats to a variety of stakeholders, consistent with industry expectations
- Demonstrate developing collaborative skills
- Outline industry-specific government health, safety and environmental standards and regulations
- Conduct themselves in a manner that meets industry expectations
- Graduation from a British Columbia Senior Secondary School or equivalent
- Workplace Math 11, or Selkirk AUD Math 46, with a minimum of 60% or better
- Consideration will be given to mature individuals (19 years or older) who are not senior secondary school graduates, provided they are working to complete the recommended education:
- Grade 10 or equivalent including English 10, Mathematics 10
- Grade 12 preferred
- All applicants are required to complete a computerized placement test using the College Readiness Tool (CRT) in reading, writing and mathematics once they have submitted their application.
Employers may require higher level of Math as part of their hiring policies
No additional requirements for this program
In order to receive your credential in your program, you must maintain a minimum of 70% average.
PO101 - Introduction to Process Plant Systems
PO102 - Process Fundamentals
PO103 - Introduction to Process Plant Operations
PO104 - Plant Tours
PO105 - Work Practicum
Tuition & Fees
All amounts are estimates and are subject to change. Tuition amounts are based on a full-time course load. Please note that many programs have additional costs beyond those listed here. For more information, please visit Tuition & Fees.
Find Out More
We look forward to connecting with you! Fill out this form and we'll reach out to you.