Process Operator Technician Training Program 

Process operatorThis program is designed for individuals seeking a career in Process Operations Technology. Participants learn the theories behind various chemical plant processes, green technologies as well as gain hands-on-experience in those areas.  This fast-track training program is 15-20 weeks in duration.

The components of this program include:

Introduction to the Process Industry: This course is designed to introduce you to the chemical process industry and to other related manufacturing industries that require the same skills. It covers the identification of major corporations and the products they produce.

Employment in the Process Industry (Resume Writing): This course is designed help students identify career paths and employment opportunities.  Included is a Resume Workshop to help students design and develop a professional resume which shows their experiences and training.  The resume is then used for interviews as students begin their job search.  Additionally, job seeking plans are discussed.

Process Technician Duties and Responsibilities: This course introduces the student to typical plant and refinery operations. It covers the operator's duties, tasks and responsibilities in day to day operations, as well as conveying emergency operations.  Typical shift patterns are covered including the 24-hour (military) system of keeping time. Also covered are workplaces skills needed to succeed in the industry.  Included are topics concerning understanding the importance of teamwork, problem solving and health and safety.

Technical Math for Operators: This course provides the student with the practical and realistic mathematical problems that are encountered by technicians.  By solving the problems, the technical and mathematical aspects are both strengthened, thus providing a solid foundation for a career as a technician. 

Physics for Operators:  This segment of the petrochemical operator's course covers basic physics.  The information presented teaches the student to function effectively in typical operating units.  Some of the items covered are the gas laws and their applications, properties of matter, Bernoulli's Principles, the physical states of matter, temperature, pressure and heat. 

Basic Chemistry:  A basic knowledge of organic chemistry is necessary to efficiently operate today's modern refineries and chemical complexes.  Topics included basic principles, atoms and molecules and molecular bonds.  All of these complexes deal with organic hydrocarbons, so a fundamental knowledge of these is necessary.  Some of the hydrocarbons covered on a molecular basis are: hydrogen, methane, butane, and ethane. 

Introduction to Safety, Health and Environmental Standards:  Safety is the most important entity in plant and refinery operations.  Typical safety procedures and practices are covered.  Also, included is the use of MSDS and personal protective equipment. Safety equipment such as respirators and self contained breathing apparatus are demonstrated.  Instruments for detecting hazardous atmospheres are also covered. 

Pumps:  The major types of pumps used in the process industry and the principles of each are covered.  The major emphasis is on centrifugal and positive displacement pumps.  Safety aspects and pump operations in cold service is also covered. 

Basic Electricity:  This course addresses two areas, first, safe electrical practices and second, improving on the job performance.  The instructor discusses improving job performance and the students learn about basic circuit design, control component awareness, interpreting ladder diagrams, use of electrical meters, electrical trouble shooting, fuse and breaker awareness and application, and National Electrical Code requirements for basic circuits. 

Introduction to Motors:  This course is designed to identify typical motors found in a process plant, their purpose and function.  Also covered are the technicians duties and responsibilities and the identification of safe work practices. 

Compressors and Turbines:  Aspects of operation, safety fundamentals and preventative maintenance are covered on centrifugal and positive displacement compressors.  Compressor surge and stonewall are also explained in order to show how they affect operation.  Many major types of machinery are powered by steam turbines within operating units.  The construction of a typical turbine is covered, along with aspects of its operation.  Typical applications are explained and maintenance factors important to its operation are covered.

Furnaces/Fired Heaters:  The primary aspect of furnace operation is covered in detail.  This provides the student with the knowledge necessary to operate them efficiently, economically and safely.  Draft, air and fuels are reviewed and the important points for normal operations are emphasized. 

Steam Generation:  This course is designed to cover the fundamentals of steam generation providing the non-chemist with practical information on steam generation chemistry which can be used on a daily basis to monitor water/steam chemistry parameters.

Introduction to Steam Systems & Traps:  Handling condensation is an important factor when using steam to power machinery in a refinery or chemical plant.  Steam traps are vital in maintaining an economical situation since they prevent waste.  Disc, float & thermostatic and inverted bucket type steam traps are covered, along with their operation and upkeep. 

Valves and Actuation: Valves are one of the most used apparatuses within a refinery or chemical complex.  This segment of the course covers the different types and sizes of valves, their construction, and typical uses of each type.  Proper operation, preventative maintenance, and safety precautions pertinent to valves are stressed.  The section on actuation is to familiarize the student with actuator principles and terminology.  Various manual, fluid powered and electric actuators and their accessories are discussed. 

Introduction to Heat Exchangers:  The floating head, fixed tube, u-tube and air cooled exchangers are covered in this section.  The construction, operation and maintenance aspects are defined and explained so the operator is knowledgeable in the use of exchangers within operating units.  Heat exchangers are some of the essential items within refineries and chemical plants. 

Refrigeration:  Many operating units use refrigeration in one form or another to accomplish separation of various products.  Basic refrigeration will be covered in this segment of the course to include the compressor, condenser, expansion valve, accumulator, and chiller.  Also included are reading Mollier and Phase diagrams and CFC regulations.

Cooling Towers:  Topics covered include the introduction to cooling towers, how cooling towers work, types of cooling towers, components of cooling towers maintenance and location. 

Reactor Fundamentals:  This course provides an overview of the function of a reactor.   Participants will be able to describe exothermic, endothermic, replacement, neutralization, and combustion chemical reactions as wells as reaction variables and their effects. 

Distillation:  All the major forms of distillation are shown and examples of operation are given.  The different types of distillation are covered along with the reasons why a particular type of process is used.  The different types of trays used in towers are explained and examples are shown. 

Introduction to Instrumentation:  This course is designed to provide an introduction to instrumentation for the process operator.  Examples of pneumatic and electronic operation are shown, as are control valve operations, variable measurements, remote instrumentation, computer control, control loops and process control. 

Piping & Instrumentation, Symbols & Drawing:  All structures use certain sets of symbols to depict on paper what they represent.  This segment of the operator's course covers the normal symbols used in piping, instrumentation and other pertinent structures.  P&IDs are covered in detail and examples of flow charts are also covered. 

Effective Communications:   Communication is an important part of a technician's job.  This course covers the principles of the communication process and gives examples of effective communication, as well as communication barriers.

Teamwork and Problem Solving:  This course is designed to cover the topics of group dynamics, group participation, resolving conflict and getting cooperation team building and the systematic approach to problem solving. 

Plant Systems Overview:  This course is design to provide the process operator with overviews of electrical systems, steam systems, water and waste water systems, P&ID systems and the opportunity to work with a computer generated plant simulation.


Course Fee

The course fee is $2,100.  Check, Money Order, Master Card, Visa will be accepted.  There are no additional charges for books or supplies.


Financial Assistance

  • Workforce Investment Act-Contact your local job service office to see if you qualify for Workforce Investment funds

Career Outlook


Contact Us

For the next information session, email Bruce at bkuzmani@jjc.edu or call him at (815) 280-1512