A typical day is sitting in the control room monitoring and juggling the various processes, punctuated by sampling. However, at any moment a piece of equipment could break and cause critical machinery to shut down. It's much like an ER in that sense, boring down time and then sudden mayhem requiring fast decisions. It takes a long time to develop competency/confidence in this position, and you don't get much help in way of effective on-boarding or useful training. There is training, but it can seem pretty distant from what you will actually be doing as an operator. If you are truly a self starter and inquisitive, you will do well, but training lacks serious structure. The worst part about being an operator is that if anything went wrong, it always tends to fall on you, regardless if it was a communication error by management, or if production is pushed to the point where you get put into a no-win situation. Generally speaking, you only see upper management in the plant when there is a problem, which fosters bad working relationships. That being said, managers do care about what is going on, and many of the problems occur because their bosses, the corporate execs, are located far away and try to manage from there.
The most stressful part of the job is also the most rewarding: when something goes catastrophically wrong and you find the problem and fix it.
Culture and feel is going to very vary a lot from shift to shift, but the overall corporate culture is positive and puts safety as its priority.
Decent pay, free meals, profit sharing, free gym, clothing & boot allowance
Long hours, is either boring or an emergency, lots to take in at first hire