Although a formal education is not required to become a terminal operator, many people opt to attend college in order to enhance their knowledge in mathematics, mechanics, and production processes. Many companies set a high school diploma or equivalent certification as the educational requirement and place more emphasis on field-related experience. Those who are lacking experience may choose to enter a vocational training program or take general courses at a local university. Due to the complex technical nature of this profession, education and/or experience is almost always required. Before deciding to become a terminal operator, you should thoroughly research the position and determine what field in the industry best suits your career goals.
If you choose to enroll in college courses, you will want to focus on mathematics, engineering, and mechanics. Since you are not required to have a degree to become a terminal operator, field related courses will help familiarize you with the equipment and procedures used in this industry. Vocational schools may offer a larger variety of courses that will enable you to become a terminal operator because most programs are focused on specific topics that are directly related to the mechanics of this field.
Terminal operator is a broad profession because many different types of companies offer this position, which usually results in the company providing job-specific training. Although companies may provide training, they still prefer that you have general knowledge and experience in the field. There are many entry-level positions in this industry that can provide additional training needed to become a terminal operator, and many potential employees enter this profession through promotion.
The most important tasks of this profession revolve around mechanics, but there are other duties that you will need to be qualified to perform in order to begin this career. Knowledge of public safety and security is imperative in this position because of the equipment used and the strict protocol required to operate the equipment. Some of these positions involve hazardous materials, and you will also need to be well-informed on the handling of these materials.
There are customer service and administrative duties that are required in this position, and you will need to have several personality traits to successfully become a terminal operator. Some skills that may be essential are data entry, technical writing abilities, excellent communication skills, the ability to work well with a team, and organization. Many companies may require that you have a clean criminal background, and you may be subject to random drug screenings.