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Tyler Simons

Professor Moore

ENGL 1301

11 February 2019

Navy Machinist Mate Transitioning to the Civilian World

A Process Technician is a certified specialist of the mechanical trade in refineries and

chemical plants. As a mechanic in a plant, fixing and the upkeep of machinery equipment is what

daily work consists of. Problem solving and physical work are keys to success. Being smarter

than the equipment that is worked on is what separates a useful Process Technician from a poor

Process Technician. Although Process Technicians have a strenuous life, the sense of

accomplishment gained through pay, hours, location, and the type of work is worth everything.

The main deciding factor people look at when choosing the Process Technician field is

the great pay. Process Technology is an ideal choice for veterans that are coming out of the

military; the work load is the same as the military, but the pay is much higher. According to the

Occupational Outlook Handbook, pay will range between $36,420 and $95,110 in May 2017

(Bureau of Labor Statistics). The lower range is for entry level or journeymen, while the higher

end is for the experienced workers. Growth depends on level of knowledge, time on the job, and

passion. Pay will increase based on the pace the workers choose. If the Process Technician is

motivated, knowledgeable, and reliable then the pay will continue to rise.

One thing people enjoy about a career in the Process Technology field is the guaranteed

working hours. “…[O]perators may work either one of three 8-hour shifts, or one of two 12-

hour shifts on a rotating basis” (Bureau of Labor Statistics). For veterans, working eight or even

twelve-hour shifts is normal for daily life in the military. The specific job of the Process
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Technician will affect the hours worked, including weekends. In this career workers can work

more hours than what is stated by working overtime. When overtime increases the pay will go

up; overtime is not a part of the yearly salary, so the amount workers can earn increases.

Process Technicians are some of the luckiest on the job market because job location is

throughout the United States. Depending on the company they could even work in foreign

countries. Coastal areas provide many jobs due to the fact the area is used for commerce. Large

metropolitan cities like Houston, Seattle, and Chicago are large employers thanks to the

manufacturing and refinery plants around these cities always evolving and needing new

employees. Any location in North America has some type of plant that is looking for new people

to hire. Certain jobs also will require travel, one minute the work site can be in south Texas

working on a piece of equipment, then two weeks later travel to Colorado to help with equipment

at that plant’s location. In the next ten years it is projected that 1,589 jobs will be available in the

Houston, Woodlands, and Sugarland area alone. Companies like General Electric, Fieldco, and

even HEB Groceries are looking for Process Technicians in the area. Due to the influx in Process

Technicians the opportunity to work for major companies within 100 miles of Houston is

increasing (Career Coach). The large area available for Process Technicians is making it easier to

choose from a large variety of companies and area to live.

For people that enjoy working with their hands the process technician position is an ideal

job. A typical day for process technicians includes operating boilers, auxiliary equipment, and

monitoring water and fuel levels (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Corrective and preventative

maintenance is also a regular task which can range from checking valves to pulling apart motors

or engines. Experience leads to being more knowledgeable of equipment, which can bring

leadership roles. Once in a leadership role the daily tasks can change to teaching and instructing
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new or junior Process technicians on the intricacies of the equipment. One of the most important

and least know aspects of the Process Technician field is being a part of a fire brigade; most

plants have a fire brigade that acts as the fire department and first responder for casualties. Many

times, if an accident occurs the company can not wait for the city fire department to arrive, so

Process Technicians along with others will have to respond and be ready for action. Saving lives

and equipment can be a scary but fulfilling part of the job, knowing how to respond but at the

same time hoping never to have to act on this training.

Exceptional pay, guaranteed hours, many locations and the type of work Process

Technicians do shows why so many people, veterans included are choosing this career path. For

some people, remaining in their current state is important for various reasons and process

technicians are found all over the country. Being able to find work in your home state is an

added benefit to becoming a qualified process technician. If relocation is ever necessary, then

many locations are available and the larger companies that are offering jobs help potential

employees make an easier transition. With the many different career paths that encompass

Process Technicians daily work life almost anybody could find a job in this ever-changing

career. The need for energy and commerce will never go away so the need for people to operate,

maintain, and distribute equipment will always be needed.


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Works Cited

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Dec. 2018,

www.bls.gov/ooh/production/stationary-engineers-and-boiler-operators.htm.

Career Coach. Alvin Community College. Alvincollege.emsicc.com/careers/industrial-

machinery-mechanic/employment?radius=®ion=100 Mile Radius from Alvin