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What is Process Operations?

A Process Operator ensures the site and its equipment are safe, efficient, and working to a high standard, using sophisticated, specialist instruments to monitor systems and operations. A methodical mind and an eye for detail are key attributes for this role, along with skills that can be used in jobs throughout the world.

As a process operator, you will typically work in a manufacturing company that makes use of large and often complex pieces of machinery and equipment. It will be your duty to keep it operating safely and e­fficiently, you will also need to take samples of materials used for analysis. Since many manufacturing plants run day and night, you may be required to work shifts.


According to the National Career Service, a qualified process operator's salary can start from £18,000 and increase to £37,000 once experienced.

As an apprentice, you will be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage by your employer during your studies.

Process Operators key responsibilities:
  • Starting up and shutting down plant machinery
  • Monitoring the plant
  • Making adjustments either by direct intervention or through a computer
  • Taking and analysing samples
  • Troubleshooting
  • Communicating with other operators, team leaders and maintenance staff‑ to keep everybody up to date
  • Keeping the work area tidy, safe and ready for the next Process Operator on duty

Course Overview

Available in Hull only

During the first year of a HETA apprenticeship, learners will be based at the HETA training centre. The first year you will undertake specialised training in Process Operations.

  • 4 days a week in a practical workshop
  • 1 day a week in a classroom based environment underpinning knowledge to complete a Level 3 qualification.

In years 2 and 3, apprentices will spend the remainder of their time of the HETA programme at their sponsored company. During this time, apprentices will be assessed via:

  • Portfolio work-based assessments
  • Engineering Assessor to review apprentices progression in a sponsored company (help with support and mentoring)
  • End Point Assessments (final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they can do the job they have been training for- Skills, Knowledge and Behaviour)

Our applications are now open for our Process Operations apprenticeship programme for September 2022. Find out how you can apply here.

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