NEXT PROS: Kourtney Jackson, Operator/Operating Technician

By Arkansas Next staff on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jacob Slaton
“What I like about my job is that it is a fast-paced environment that challenges me mentally and physically. I love that it’s competitive and that I work with machines rather than people.” – Kourtney Jackson

Kourtney Jackson

High school: Cabot High School | Age: 28 | Where I trained: L’Oreal Maybelline Co. | What I earned: On-the-job training | Job title: Packaging Operator II | Employer: L’Oreal Maybelline Co. in North Little Rock

What does an operating technician do?

Operators or operating technicians, specifically chemical plant operators, operate equipment in a chemical processing facility. They maintain and inspect the equipment as well as the products to ensure the plant is running efficiently and meeting safety standards.

“The kind of skills that I think are important for someone interested in becoming an operator or technician are to be self-motivated, competitive, able to work well with a team and at least a willingness to learn mechanical skills if not mechanically inclined already.”Kourtney


• Maintain work equipment or machinery.

• Repair worn, damaged or defective mechanical parts.

• Replace worn, damaged or defective mechanical parts.

• Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.

• Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.

• Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.

Job Outlook

Average annual job openings in Arkansas.

Jobs in Arkansas by 2026.

Upward Mobility

"While I love being a line operator, if I decide to move up, there are many positions over the one I hold now that don’t require more than the experience that I’ve gotten in the job I work now and some more on-the-job training."Kourtney

This option is for you if:
You are comfortable with digital media.
You have effective communication skills.
You are a  natural-born problem solver.
You’re not a desk person.
You like having a lot of job options.

High-end earners (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$47,960 Annual
$23.06 Hourly


Arkansas Northeastern College
East Arkansas Community College
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology – Crossett


ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc.
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives
CenterPoint Energy
L'Oreal Maybelline Co.
Lexicon Inc.
McKee Foods Corporation
Pace Industries
Simmons Foods, Inc. & Affiliates
Tyson Foods
Wabash National


See more of The New Path to Success:
17 Hot Jobs in Skilled Trades