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Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining

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

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

What does this industry cover?

Chemical sector: produces petrochemicals, plastics, paint, explosives, industrial gases and fertilisers.

Hydrocarbon sector: refines heavy/light component crude oil, further refines into petroleum and coal products and manufactures/blends materials into petroleum fuels. This sector also produces a range of lubricant grease, fluid, oil and bituminous goods.

Refining sector: refines and smelts metals such as iron, alumina, copper, silver, lead, zinc and other non-ferrous metals.

Job hunting preparation

The majority of employers in all sectors of Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining industry are non-employing small businesses.

The skills that employers look for in these industries are: problem solving, leadership, autonomy, customer service, communication and of course, work health and safety.

You may work in remote locations and possibly be a fly-in, fly-out employee on a rotating shift roster.

Some sectors of this industry are heavily regulated and has zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol which could mean you are tested on a regular basis.

Information for further research

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.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 235

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have decreased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished.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

Industry Employment Size

This is a small sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has increased.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium to high.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

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