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Careers in resources

Western Australia is an international resources hub. The state currently has major petroleum and minerals projects underway and more than 900 companies service the sector from Perth. As the industry moves from construction to operations phase, there continue to be exciting job prospects throughout the industry, and companies are constantly on the lookout for skilled, hard working, motivated operators to join them.   

SM TAFE provides training for paraprofessionals, pre-apprentices, apprentices and trainees that lead to jobs in the resources industry. Training is mapped to multiple career levels, ranging from process operator, to trade
specialists, to site manager.

Training is delivered by lecturers with qualifications and experience across a multitude of disciplines, including process plant operations and management, instrumentation, engineering, plant maintenance, control systems and working in a high risk and highly regulated environment. 

For more information

Phone: 1800 001 001

Certificate II in Process Operations (PMA20116)

This is an entry level qualification based at the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training at Munster Campus. You might be a school leaver looking to enter the resources industry, or an experienced professional looking to up-skill to secure an operational role.

This course exposes students to the fundamentals of process plant operations, forming part of the chemical, hydrocarbons and oil refining training package.  It is available full time for eight weeks, part time, flexible or as a traineeship.

Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations (52845WA) 

Launched to the public in 2020, this qualification marks a shift in WA industry towards innovative technologies, requiring new roles and specialist skills. This training is the result of a successful collaboration with Rio Tinto, State Government, resources industry, its stakeholders and the wider community. Visit our careers in automation page for more information.

For those looking to take their career to the next level

Our Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level qualifications are offered flexibly to accommodate professionals already working in the industry.

Certificate III in Process Plant Operations    

Certificate IV in Process Plant Technology

Diploma of Process Plant Technology  

Advanced Diploma of Process Plant Technology

Employment outcomes are strong, with excellent reward and recognition for the appropriate candidates.

Some jobs include:

  • Process Plant Operator/Technician
  • Fixed/Mobile Plant Controller/Technician
  • Senior Civil Designer/Technical Manager
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Advanced Process Plant Operator
  • Engineering Associate
  • Instrumentation Specialist
  • Process Plant Lead/Manager
  • Senior Civil Designer/Technical Manager


Courses are taught from our Munster Campus(opens in a new tab) at the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT). We offer world-class, specialist training facilities, enabling students hands-on experience in a real-life industry setting.

Our state-of-the-art facility is home to:

  • Live three-phase separation pilot plant  (oil, gas and water)
  • Live binary distillation column trainer
  • Control room fitted with distributed control systems (DCS) for the pilot plant and a separate DCS for the distillation column
  • Static dehydration package, and pump and valve cutaways
  • Process (computer based) simulators
  • Pigging circuit 
  • Water treatment package

Process plant operators need to be familiar with the range of equipment and machinery used in their particular operation. As most of the processes are controlled by automated computer systems, you need to be comfortable with using computers and other electronic instrumentation. 

A good mechanical aptitude and equipment troubleshooting abilities is required as well as good math and computer skills and the ability to compute decimals and percentages.

Our courses are designed to help organisations upskill their staff, or to allow those working in industry to build a specialist skill to take advantage of growing demand. 

Begin your resources industry study pathway

For training advice and help with the next step in your career talk to a Jobs and Skills Centre.

Learn how you can:

  • leverage skills already developed in other study or work you've achieved
  • plan your oil and gas study pathway
  • apply for a TAFE engineering course
  • prepare and improve your resume, cover letter and interview techniques
  • approach an employer looking for an apprentice or trainee in oil and gas