Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

Median Annual Wage: $62,830

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (72%); Associate's degree (18%); Some college, no degree (6%)

Projected Growth: Decline (-3% or lower)

Related Job Titles: Board Operator; Outside Operator; Pumper; Refinery Operator; Gauger; Stillman; Unit Operator; Crude Unit Operator; Head Operator; Hydrotreater Operator

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers.

More Production Careers

  • Start pumps and open valves or use automated equipment to regulate the flow of oil in pipelines and into and out of tanks.
  • Control or operate manifold and pumping systems to circulate liquids through a petroleum refinery.
  • Operate control panels to coordinate and regulate process variables such as temperature and pressure, and to direct product flow rate, according to process schedules.
  • Signal other workers by telephone or radio to operate pumps, open and close valves, and check temperatures.
  • Verify that incoming and outgoing products are moving through the correct meters, and that meters are working properly.
  • Read automatic gauges at specified intervals to determine the flow rate of oil into or from tanks, and the amount of oil in tanks.
  • Operate auxiliary equipment and control multiple processing units during distilling or treating operations, moving controls that regulate valves, pumps, compressors, and auxiliary equipment.
  • Plan movement of products through lines to processing, storage, and shipping units, using knowledge of system interconnections and capacities.
  • Read and analyze specifications, schedules, logs, test results, and laboratory recommendations to determine how to set equipment controls to produce the required qualities and quantities of products.
  • Record and compile operating data, instrument readings, documentation, and results of laboratory analyses.
  • Synchronize activities with other pumphouses to ensure a continuous flow of products and a minimum of contamination between products.
  • Patrol units to monitor the amount of oil in storage tanks, and to verify that activities and operations are safe, efficient, and in compliance with regulations.
  • Maintain and repair equipment, or report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors so that repairs can be scheduled.
  • Collect product samples by turning bleeder valves, or by lowering containers into tanks to obtain oil samples.
  • Inspect pipelines, tightening connections and lubricating valves as necessary.
  • Conduct general housekeeping of units, including wiping up oil spills and performing general cleaning duties.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers.

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers.

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