PTEC Graduate and Can’t Get a Job

PTEC Graduate and can’t get a job?

So you’re a PTEC graduate, and having trouble finding a job?  I’ve hear many people complain about not being able to land a Process Operator job, so lets talk about how a PTEC graduate can put that fancy new degree of yours to use.

First off, let’s talk about the different classifications of Process Operator jobs with the best first. The dream jobs: ExxonMobil, Shell Chemical, Motiva, BASF, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Chevron, Marathon, and BP to name a few. These are global companies with large facilities and top pay and benefits. These companies get tons of applicants, and get thousands of applications when they post job openings. Do you want to start off here? Well there are a few ways that COULD be possible. The best route is an internship.

If you are still in school and have the opportunity to intern for one of the mentioned companies, TAKE IT AT ALL COSTS. They hire their interns, and will pay you while you intern. The next way is if you know someone. I’ve heard a lot of people say that you have to know someone, and this is a half truth. I never knew anyone and I’ve worked for 3 of the companies mentioned. I also knew people on the interview teams, the people that made the decision on who gets hired. There is a minimum of 4 people, likely up to 9 that have a say in you being hired AFTER the interview. SO in order for knowing someone that could get you the job, you would have to know someone very high up, or with considerable influence. So for those of you that think you HAVE to know someone to get the job, I would tell you to quite feeling sorry for yourself and start putting in applications.

Do you have family that works for one of the mentioned companies? Now I have actually seen this make a difference, ExxonMobil had a long standing reputation for employing generations of families as Process Operators. In my hiring class of 42, at least 25 raised their hand when the class instructor asked if they had family members that worked there. Remember those 4 to 9 interviewers? If your dad worked there for 30 years, chances are that those interviewers knew him. Now this could work to your disadvantage if your dad was not thought well of.

Do I have to have previous experience to get a Process Operator job? If you are asking this question when applying for one of the large companies, then generally yes. They usually ask for a minimum of 1 to 3 years of relevant experience. They may say Process Operator experience, BUT relevant experience could work. You need to understand what the companies are looking for applicants to say, and how they word their resumes, and how they answer the questions in the interviews.

Military service is a big plus when applying for these jobs. Employers love to hire x-military personnel. A few employers even have programs just for people getting out of the military, so if this could apply to you, send me a message and I will help you find the information.

Luck could be a contributing factor to you getting the job with no experience at a major company. If you have a well thought out resume, do great on the test, and master the interview; It could be enough.

So your a PTEC graduate, but can’t get the job.

—– Are you applying, and not getting an invitation for testing?  Either your resume is crap, or you did a horrible job of answering the short answer questions, or you gave a wrong multiple choice answer. Any of these would forward your application to JUNK.

—– Are you taking the test and not hearing back, or are you failing the test? These are really both the same question because if you are not hearing back after testing, it means you failed. Don’t beat yourself up, there is a article on this site about preemployment testing; read it, and study

—– Are you PASSING the test but not getting an interview? Well, one factor is timing. You have to be patient. The time between testing and interviewing is usually about a month, maybe 2. Still not hearing back? Well one or two things happened. Your resume is acceptable, or you barely passed the test. Honestly, your resume is still crap! Want to know how I know this. I know because the reason your not hearing back is because they think you do not have enough experience/industrial maturity. How does this reflect on my resume you ask? Your resume is supposed to highlight your experience and/or skills and you obviously did not do that well. The resume is a battle of wit and words. The resume is about knowing what they want to hear you say, then figuring out how you can word your experience in a manner that is acceptable a Process Operator employer.

—— Are you getting the interview but not being offered a job? How do you feel the interview went? Did you have really good answers to the interviewers questions? Did you have a lot to talk about for each question? Were you able to expand upon your answer when they asked? The biggest factor at this point is the interview itself, and how you did. BUT, your resume will be looked at along with the interviewers notes when deciding who makes the cut and who doesn’t. The job offer should come about a month after the interview. If you do not hear back, you might be put into a pool of applicants that could be hired at a later date. If this happens to you, the truth is you did not do well enough in the interview. You need to be better prepared.


So What now?

If you are a PTEC graduate, but have no experience, do not let that stop you from applying to the big companies. PERFECT your resume, study for the tests when you are offered a chance to take one. In the meantime, apply for related positions. A Terminal Operator is a good one. You would be working in a tank farm, moving bulk liquid form tank to tank, pipeline, ship, barge, and/or rail. Its great experience, and a good paying job. Another option is a contractor position, companies that work in plants/refineries doing contract operator jobs like loading trucks and rail cars, manning the docks, working in tank farms, or anything else inside plant/refinery gates.


BUT MR. Process Operator, you last paragraph describes what I’ve been doing and I still can’t get a job. Well then you need to go back up to the top and read the paragraph, “So you graduated PTEC and can’t get the job.”


Being a PTEC graduate will help you get the job. You just have to do yours by getting prepared. If I can elaborate any more, please feel free to contact me on Facebook. Help me MR. Process Operator

PTEC Graduate