So, do plant operators make good money in Kenya?
Well, the plant operator salary in Kenya ranges between Kshs. 15000 to about Kshs.80000. Also note that the gross salary goes up by a few thousand if you add extra perks paid to plant operators including house, commuter and house allowances, where applicable.
I must add that the final figure depends on who you’re working for- private companies or the public sector.
Just to give you a clear picture, plant operator salary in Kenya in leading private sector players such as CRBC (China Road and Bridges Corporation) is about KShs. 53142.00-KShs. 56676.00
Meanwhile, the plant operator salary in Kenya when working for public sector entities such as county governments is between KShs. 25000.00-KShs. 35000.00 (excluding the allowances).
The plant operator job advertisement by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services below can give you an idea.
On the same note, Excavator Operators make between Kshs. 26100 to Kshs. 76700 in Kenya, according to salaryexplorer.com.
What do Plant Operators Do?
Plant operators work mostly in manufacturing firms and industrial sites because these are the locations where work is carried out with the help of heavy machines and equipment.
But your role is not limited to operating the machines- you will doing other tasks such as ground excavation, transporting materials, crushing rocks, digging trenches, and more in an appropriate and safe manner.
Other responsibilities include:
- Performing daily maintenance and important safety checks on equipment.
- Conducting pre-operational checks on various machinery and equipment.
- Cleaning, lubricating, and refilling equipment as necessary.
- Liaising with plant mechanics for servicing when necessary.
- Maintaining the cleanliness (of the plants).
Plant operator qualifications in Kenya
In general, requirements vary from one organization to the next.
However, some of the most common minimum requirements to be hired as a plant operator in Kenya are as follows:
- KCSE mean grade: D (Plain) or its equivalent qualification
- A genuine driving license (free from current endorsement(s)) for class/classes of machine/machines you may be needed to operate.
- Have passed suitability test for Grade III/II/I plant operator course in an accredited institution.
- Have passed Occupational Trade Test III/II/I for Plant Operators administered by an accredited institution- Holders of relevant National Trade Test/Craft/ Diploma Certificates can be considered.
- First Aids Certificate (you must have trained in first aid for at least one week) with institutions such as St John Ambulance, KIHBT (Kenya Institute of Highways and Technology), etc.
- Some employers need you to prove that you have been undergoing a Refresher course in Plant Operator lasting at least a week within every 3 years at KIHBT or other recognized colleges offering plant operator courses in Kenya.
It’s worth mentioning that some recruiters ask for 1-3 years experience in operating the equipment/plants they require you to operate (forklifts, shovels, motor graders, excavators, rollers, manufacturing plants, or other special plants and equipment).
The best way to get experience is to look for industrial attachment – even if it’s unpaid- in a busy organization.
Try to work there for as many months as possible to perfect your skills as the letter of recommendation you get from the organization at the end can make all the difference when we come to the experience requirement.
Colleges offering plant operator courses in Kenya -best plant operator schools in Kenya
If you’re thinking of taking a plant operator course in Nairobi or in any other town in Kenya, here are the colleges offering plant operator courses in Kenya that outshine the rest in terms of training facilities, quality of training, and marketability of the graduates:
KIHBT (Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology)- Ngong Campus
KIHBT is government owned and one of the best in the business.
Indeed, their trainees have a great reputation among employers.
To enquire about the intakes and other details, call 0728 640384.
Kilimambogo Institute of Professional Earthmovers
Kilimambogo Institute of Highways Building & Technology (KIHBTECH) is a private institution in Thika.
They train a variety of courses in building and construction including a plant operator course.
Remember that their course teaches you how to operate machinery typically used at construction/building sites.
The college is at Landless, along Thika-Garissa road, around 12kms from Thika town.
Visit https://www.kilimambogooperatorschools.co.ke/ to download Kilimambogo plant operator college fee structure and other admission details.
Sensei Institute of Technology
Sensei Institute offers training in a variety of heavy lifting, earthmoving, and agricultural machinery and can be another viable choice.
Visit https://senseitechnology.co.ke/courses/plant-operator/ to download brochure and Sensei institute application form.
JCB Kenya plant operator training (Ganatra Plant and Equipment Ltd)
JCB Kenya is another fantastic place to go for a plant operation course.
They have a simulator consisting of various machines so you’ll walk out of the place well equipped.
Visit them along Baba Dogo Road in Nairobi or call 0723 506911
- Plant operator course in Mombasa– if you’re at the coast, check out Kensafe Driving School (Call 0714 449952)
- Plant operator course in Nakuru– Those in Nakuru can get quality training at Sensei Institute of Technology, Nakuru branch. Call 0729 891301.
- NYS plant operator course– NYS can also be an excellent option. NYS trains plant operators at Machakos and Kerio Valley.
Plant operator course fees
Training fee ranges between shs.60000 to shs.120000 depending on the institution and whether you’ll be a boarder or a day scholar.
Plant operator salary in Kenya – Frequently asked Questions
Is plant operator course marketable?
Well, if you have excellent qualifications and good experience, the course can be marketable.
But you must also know where to look for jobs- construction sites, road construction companies, industries, housing projects, county government departs, and more.
However, it’s important to understand that quite a significant number of young men and women have taken the plant operator course in the last few years due to the aggressive marketing campaigns launched by training institutions so competition is stiffer than it was a decade ago.
Of course, networking widely can also help you land a job soon after graduating.
How long does plant operator training take?
1 month to 3 months. It again depends on the institution you’re attending.
What are the minimum entry requirements?
For the most part, the course is open. Indeed, you can take the course even with a KCPE certificate.
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