Chemical plant managers are responsible for supervising the daily operations of their facilities, which includes overseeing the safe and efficient development of a variety of chemicals (fuels, detergents, solvents, other base compounds, etc.). They also work with their parent companies to ensure that plants are operating profitably, conforming to the vision of the organization, and adhering to budgets.
A chemical plant is a manufacturing facility which develops products either for commercial/industrial use or the consumer end-user. Plant engineers typically supervise team managers who, in turn, supervise their own teams within facilities. They may review efficiency and safety data with these team leaders to bring up and address any concerns regarding safety or productivity, and also review inventory and purchasing data/reports with warehouse/purchasing team members to ensure that existing stocks are managed properly. Most chemical plants also employ a safety officer, and managers will review storage and inspection reports with these officers to ensure safe operations.
While chemical plant managers oversee and assist group leaders with specific areas to manage, they themselves are responsible for ensuring that the plant overall is operating smoothly. They may be tasked with establishing and implementing facility-wide budgets which fall within company parameters, and may also approve or request capital improvement expenditures for the plant to improve safety and efficiency.
A college degree in industrial engineering or chemical engineering is highly recommended for aspiring chemical plant managers. Many managers have already worked as team leads and gained experience as assistants to managers in some capacity. Although most in this position work during traditional business hours in a manufacturing center environment, some may need to be on-call for emergencies whenever the plant is open.
Chemical Plant Manager Tasks
- Meet budget goals and record all expenditures, and prepare reports.
- Oversee safety, emergency response, maintenance goals, and implementations.
- Hire, fire, direct, and motivate staff in daily operations and long-range goals.
- Optimize deliveries, shipments, staffing, and production to minimize downtime.