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Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining

Overview

The Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining industry is a diverse industry covering the production of chemicals, industrial gases, and metals and petroleum refining.

It is an important industry within Australia’s valuable resources sector. It is global in nature with many of the major stakeholders being multinational companies who require a skilled workforce that is mobile, flexible and able to adapt to changing conditions.

The ongoing downturn of the resources sector continues to impact this industry. Margins are tight and Australian businesses are struggling to remain competitive. The oil and gas refining sector is being impacted by the global oil price and the metals refining sector by the decrease in demand from China as well as the increase in low cost Chinese products entering Australia.

Traineeship and apprenticeship commencements in this industry are moderate.

What does this industry cover?

Oil and industrial gases used in manufacturing industries such make plastics, for example:

  • Aluminium smelting and refining
  • Petrol and oil manufacture
  • Paint and lacquer

Industry Information

There are just over 15,000 people employed in chemical, gas, petroleum plant operator roles mostly with micro and small businesses.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in this industry are moderate.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Commencements Change

The change in Australian Apprenticeships commencements in this industry in the past two years. Commencements year to March 2018: 259

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 26/09/2018. AATIS analysis.

Graduate Employment

Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry in employment (in any industry).

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Graduate Wage

Average wage of Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry employed full-time after training.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Growth

Growth in employment in this industry in the past 5 years.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

Industry Size

The number of employees in this industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

Average wage of all employees in this industry.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Plant Operator (CSG Plant Operator)

Process Plant Operator (Chemical)

Process Plant Operator (Emergency Support)

Process Plant Operator (Hydrocarbon Extraction)

Process Plant Operator (Hydrocarbon Transmission)

Process Plant Operator (LNG Plant Operator)

Process Plant Technician

This industry is positioned in the following groups

Industry

Manufacturing & Production

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining can take you?

Career Pathways

Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma.  Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Charts

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Support Services

Further Research

Information

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 

Industry

  • National Energy Resources Australia
  • Australia New Zealand Industrial Gas Association
  • The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

​Career Sites