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  3. Control Room Operator

Control Room Operator

NOC #93101, #92100

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education Post-secondary diploma
  • Average salary $63,000 to $109,000

Career profile

Control room operators are responsible for the safe and reliable operation of processing plants and pipelines. They use sophisticated instruments and systems to monitor plants and pipelines remotely and make key decisions to ensure their safe operation.

In a processing plant, control room operators monitor and control the operation of its processing units using a distributive control system (DCS) typically located within the plant. They are experienced plant operators, making key decisions on adjustments to processing units, as well as overseeing other plant operators within the facility. Control room operators also provide the initial response to an emergency or evacuation and oversee the start-up or shut down of a plant or one of its units.

In the pipeline sector, control room operators control pipeline activity from a centralized control room. They work closely with operations and maintenance staff to avert any problems as they are often the first to detect any potential operational issues in a pipeline’s operation. They must have a solid understanding of the integrated processes and systems required for the transportation of products, as well as the products’ inherent characteristics and customer specifications.

Exploration and production, Pipelines, Oil sands, Offshore, Carbon capture, utilization and storage, Start-up and commissioning, Geothermal

In this occupation activities may include:

  • Using a highly computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) to control and monitor pipeline flow rates, system pressures, temperatures, product quality deviations, pressure loses, product blending and batch logistics for the pipelines sub-sector
  • Responding to alarm conditions as they arise including initiating front line emergency response measures
  • Providing daily forecasts of system-wide requirements and adjusting to differences between forecasted and actual product volumes
  • Remotely operating the mainline and booster pumping stations along the pipeline
  • Communicating with pipeline field operations personnel to ensure safe and efficient operations
  • Signaling other workers by telephone or radio to operate pumps, open and close valves and check temperatures


  • Entry-level education and experience requirements for control room operators vary. In processing plants, these operators typically have up to 10 years of operating experience. In the pipeline sub-sector, they require a minimum of a high school diploma (or equivalent). However, most employers prefer a technologist or technical diploma in petroleum, power, chemical, mechanical, electrical or instrumentation engineering, as well as an understanding of the characteristics of oil and gas and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.


  • Standard and emergency first aid


  • Provincial Stationary Engineer licence may be required
  • Compressor Operator or Refrigeration certification may be required

  • Minimal or no travel
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding
  • Safety-sensitive environment

You are experienced and bring a strong command of chemistry, physics and mathematics and are able to troubleshoot problems with equipment.

  • Production and processing
  • Public safety and security
  • Monitoring operations
  • Controlling operations
  • Attention to detail
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Taking initiative
  • Critical thinking
  • Computer use
  • Continuous learning