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Plant Operator

Operate heavy machinery used on industrial and manufacturing sites.

What's it like to be a Plant Operator?

Plant Operators are responsible for operating heavy machinery and equipment used on industrial sites and in manufacturing processes. This can involve excavation, crushing rocks, transporting materials, digging trenches and all kinds of other tasks.

Plant Operator

Tasks and duties

  • Preparing and positioning machinery.
  • Selecting, fitting, using and removing any attachments.
  • Performing tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Transporting machinery to, from and around work sites.
  • Monitoring dashboard controls to ensure machinery is operating correctly.
  • Working from specifications, instructions and drawings.
  • Servicing and performing minor repairs on machinery.
  • Refuelling when needed.

What can I earn as a Plant Operator?

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT
The most common annual salary in AUS for a Plant Operator is between $55k and $65k

Close salary comparison
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Source: SEEK job ads. Salaries include superannuation.

How to become a Plant Operator


SEEK Learning
To become a Plant Operator you may be required to hold specific licences and a White Card.

  1. Consider completing a Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations (RII30815). It will take you 1 year to finish, and there are no minimum requirements.
  2. Complete training with a registered organisation to obtain a White Card. The White Card certification will remain valid unless you do not work in construction for a period of two years or more.
  3. Find out whether you’ll need a heavy vehicle licence. Check with your state or territory’s traffic authority for more details.

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Certificate III in Civil Construction

This certificate will prepare you to work in civil construction in areas such as bridge construction, pipe laying or road construction.

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Upskill with an online short course

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How do Plant Operators rate their role?

Latest reviews from 40 Plant Operators surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.8
Job satisfaction
4.0
Career progression opportunities
3.4
Job security
3.9
Pay / Salary
3.8
Variety of work
3.8

Latest reviews

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Positive
Negative
Aug 2019
Operating machines for council, trade level skills required, below average pay given
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Management
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Plant operating
The good things
Driving machinery can provide good challenges, however the pay is below average, though working for public service has advantages there are limits to how much you get to influence the job.
The challenges
Finding ways to be more efficient, learning how to work with natural materials, learning how to juggle client needs with limited resources
Read more
Aug 2019
Tough job, something i would like to move on from.
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Construction
The good things
There are opportunities where you communicate with multiple people with a different background. As a plant operator, you do get paid well.
The challenges
There is very limited opportunity for process in your career based on the experience. Your opinion by senior engineers is often ignored.
Read more
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Plant Operators

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 39 Plant Operators

What are the job opportunities for Plant Operators?

Find out how the job market is trending

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QLD
TAS
SA
NT
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Job opportunities

Plant Operator jobs on SEEK
1,067
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK

Latest Plant Operator jobs on SEEK

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Source: SEEK job ads

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data