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Occupational Profile
Emerging Occupations

Landfill Gas Plant Operator

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

Landfill gas plant operators control automated processes that convert methane gas from landfills to fuel used to generate electricity.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 6,000
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Methane Gas Collection System Operator

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

90%
90%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Landfill Gas Plant Operator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Process Operators
NOC code: 9232
OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling process start-up, shut-down and troubleshooting; and in operating electronic or computerized control panels from a central control room; and in shutting down, isolating and preparing process units or production equipment for maintenance

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to develop operator procedures for normal operations, start-up and shut-down of units; and in participating in safety audits and programs, and in providing emergency response when required

directive

Interest in speaking with team members and trainees to authorize or co-sign maintenance work orders; in ensuring adherence to safety and environmental regulations; may work in a team with shared supervisory responsibilities and participate in training other workers

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Solid waste releases methane gas and carbon dioxide as it decomposes in landfills. Gas wells are drilled approximately 25 metres deep into a landfill and are connected underground to a network of pipes that deliver the methane gas to recovery plants. Captured methane gas can be used to generate electricity or cleaned (separated from carbon dioxide) to generate renewable natural gas. One tonne of organic waste can produce the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil. 

Landfill gas plant operators' duties vary depending on the size of the gas plant. In large plants, more operators usually are required and their jobs are more specialized. Smaller gas plants require fewer people who may have a wider range of duties. In general, landfill gas plant operators:

  • monitor and control landfill gas extraction wells
  • read meters, gauges or automatic recording devices at specified intervals
  • test air samples for signs of gas or chemical leaks
  • operate computerized control panels to manage gas compression operations
  • perform normal and emergency operation start-up or shutdown procedures
  • diagnose and troubleshoot gas collection equipment and control systems
  • repair, overhaul and maintain landfill gas burning engines
  • monitor emission data and maintain records.

Landfill gas plant operators work closely with landfill operating staff and sub-contractors involved in landfill gas collection.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Landfill gas plant operators may spend about half of their time outdoors. Their job requires a considerable amount of walking, crouching, bending, kneeling and lifting (up to 20 kilograms). Landfill gas recovery plants operate 24 hours a day so operators are required to work eight or 12 hour shifts.

Methane gas is poisonous, flammable and lighter than air. It may explode if it migrates to the landfill's surface and becomes concentrated in an area where there is an ignition source. Therefore, landfill gas plant operators must follow safety procedures to prevent injury.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Landfill gas plant operators need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical aptitude
  • mathematical ability
  • manual dexterity
  • the ability to work independently with limited supervision
  • good communication skills in English
  • good judgment
  • agility and endurance.

They should enjoy controlling equipment, instruments and machinery, analyzing information to solve problems and working with others in a team.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Most emerging occupations develop from more than one occupation so landfill gas plant operators may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Prior to enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have a high school diploma with courses in mathematics, chemistry and physics. The following safety courses also may be required or recommended:

  • Confined Space Entry
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Hydrogen Sulfide Awareness (H2S)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)  
  • First Aid and CPR.

Landfill gas plant operators also should be knowledgeable about:

  • High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) piping extensively used in landfill gas collection systems
  • liquid and gas state flow mechanics (physics related).

An Alberta Power Engineering Certificate may be required. In Alberta, power engineers are certified through the Alberta Boiler Safety Association. There are five levels of certification, advancing from a Fifth Class certificate to a First Class certificate. Each level of certification has different training and employment experience requirements.

 

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, alternative sources of energy)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation but future demand for landfill gas plant operators is unknown. 

Landfill gas plant operators are employed by:

  • cities, towns and rural municipalities
  • waste management companies that contract their services to municipalities.

Landfill gas plant operators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 9232: Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators. In Alberta, 84% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.
Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Salaries for landfill gas plant operators vary depending on the plant and the qualifications of the operator.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no salary data specific to infection control professionals is currently available.

Salary data is available for the larger National Occupational Classification 9232: Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators as part of the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey.

Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
NOC code: 9232

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $32.00 $45.00 $38.23 $39.00
Overall $42.00 $59.78 $44.65 $42.00
Top $46.00 $69.15 $51.03 $46.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Oil & Gas Extraction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

90%
90%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

6%
6%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • Science
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) website: www.absa.ca

ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization) website: www.eco.ca  

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 01, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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