Panel Operator

NOC #93101

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education High school diploma

Career profile

Panel operators monitor gauges and control a wide variety of pipes, tanks, pumps and other machines that process oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. They work in highly automated and complex control rooms at a variety of facilities. They operate equipment and are also responsible for ensuring that all of the equipment is in good working order.

Exploration and production, Oil sands, Oil and gas services, Pipelines

In this occupation activities may include:

  • Operating electronic or computerized control panel from a central control room to monitor and optimize physical and chemical processes for several processing units
  • Operating control panels to coordinate and regulate process variables such as temperature and pressure, and to direct product flow rate, according to process schedules.
  • Adjusting equipment performance to match operating requirement (centrifuges for low gravity solids removal or barite recovery), optimize screen selection on shale shakers or mud cleaners etc.
  • Ensuring equipment is in good condition and operating properly
  • Reading automatic gauges at specified intervals to determine the flow rate of oil into or from tanks, and the amount of oil in tanks.
  • Monitoring process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters to detect and report any possible problems.
  • Operating compressors, pumps, and separators
  • Conducting general housekeeping of units, including wiping up oil spills and performing general cleaning duties.


  • A High School Diploma is required with some companies requiring a College Diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject


Depending on the employer the following certifications may be required:

  • First Aid
  • Hydrogen Sulfide Awareness (H2S Alive®)
  • Blowout Prevention
  • Firefighting
  • Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS)


  • A provincial power engineer licence, compressor operator or refrigeration certificate may be required when certain kinds of equipment are included in the process.

Additional Requirements

  • Specific health and safety certifications may be required, determined by location of work and company requirements.

  • Minimal or no travel
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Lower risk environment
  • Computers and electronics
  • Production and processing
  • Understanding risk
  • Works safely
  • Interpreting documents/plans
  • Mechanical operation
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Operation and control
  • Operation monitoring
  • Instructing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Attention to detail