Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators
Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators operate plants to load, unload, move, store and stack bulk materials such as grain, sugar and mineral ore.
Specialisations: Bulk Fluids Handler, Conveyor Belt Operator, Grain Handler, Palletiser Operator, Tank Farm Operator (Petroleum).
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator. Some workers have a certificate II in resource processing.
Assists with physical inventory counts and processes.
Completes daily log sheets for bulk plant operations and documents all maintenance activities, as well as time sheets, job sheets and other paperwork for billing purposes.
Co-ordinates with outside agencies for shipping of in-bound/out-bound products.
Ensures all materials coming into or leaving the plant are properly documented and enters production tickets, goods receipts and shipping documentation.
Ensures that materials are properly labelled and that the disposal of materials is handled in a safe manner that complies with environmental standards.
Operates vehicles used for transporting bulk products and utilises materials handling equipment, such as loaders, forklifts and pallet jacks, to move materials within the plant.
Performs calculations to determine appropriate mixtures, weights and volumes, as well as measuring out the appropriate amount of raw material to meet order specifications.
Blends and mixes all bulk products for on-time delivery and as per the programmed design.
Packages, labels and loads finished products as per order requirements.
Performs daily inspections of bulk plant equipment and materials, maintains all equipment, and ensures bulk plant is kept clean.
- 712911 Boiler and Engine Operators
- 712912 Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators
- 712913 Cement Production Plant Operators
- 712914 Concrete Batching Plant Operators
- 712915 Concrete Pump Operators
- 712916 Paper and Pulp Mill Operators
- 712917 Railway Signal Operators
- 712918 Train Controllers
- 712921 Waste Water and Water Plant Operators
- 712922 Weighbridge Operators
- 712999 Stationary Plant Operators (not covered elsewhere)
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Other Stationary Plant Operators, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 90% of people employed as Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 24 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 50 hours per week in their main job. This is 6 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators work in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators||All Jobs Average|
Around 77% of Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Western Australia and South Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Western Australia - Wheat Belt
- Western Australia - Outback (South)
- Mackay - Isaac - Whitsunday
- Central Queensland
- Perth - South West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 9% of the workforce. This is 39 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operator. Some workers have a certificate II in resource processing.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Bulk Materials Handling Plant Operators||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||33.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Stationary Plant Operators who communicate well with others, are polite, courteous and reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
52%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
45%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Reading work related information.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
41%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
39%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
37%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Fixing machines or systems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
75%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
62%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
60%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
58%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
58%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
55%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
49%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
45%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
36%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
27%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Read and understand written information.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are far away.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
77%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
68%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
66%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
65%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
58%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
57%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
56%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
50%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
46%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
45%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
44%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
44%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
44%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
43%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
41%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
41%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
40%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
40%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
36%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
32%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
100%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Talk with people face-to-face.
96%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
95%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
91%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
89%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
89%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
84%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
84%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
83%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
81%Work at heights
Work in high places (e.g., on poles, scaffolding, catwalks, or ladders).
81%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
80%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
Work to strict deadlines.
79%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
77%Outdoors, under cover
Work outdoors, under cover (e.g., in an open shed).
77%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7011.00 - Conveyor Operators and Tenders.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.