Work as a process operator

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Ballance Process Operator Melanie Megaw has just bought her first house at 25 years of age, thanks in part to her step up into an operator role in the energy industry three years ago.

Initially, Melanie capitalised on her interest in science and began her career in the laboratory at Ballance Kapuni. She became interested in what changes influenced the results she saw in the lab, so she spent time learning from operators on the plant about the process and their responsibilities. This led her back to the classroom to complete the process operator training programme at WITT Te Pūkenga in 2019. 

“I enjoyed the course, the trainer was really good and I enjoyed learning with a team that had the same goal. I’d definitely recommend the course to others. If you’re in the industry and want greater career progression, or are new to it, energy is a great industry and they really care about their people,” says Melanie.

Melanie’s first role as an operator took her north to Whangarei where she worked for Refining NZ after having done a work placement there as part of the course. Changes at Refining NZ’s operation brought Melanie back home and back to Ballance, but this time in an operator role.

“The job is diverse, with plenty to learn and do every day, so I love it. I enjoy working as a team and would recommend the training and the opportunity to others – it’s got the potential to be life-changing.”

Melanie is confident that her skills are transferable to other roles.

“The energy industry is changing a lot in a positive way, the skills I learn now will be beneficial long into the future. Energy will always be needed.”

The next intake for the Certificate in Energy Process Operations starts on 20 March 2023 (successful applicants are required to attend a three day health and safety course at WITT from 15 to 17 March).

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