Gas Plant Operators Career Video
Description: 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.
In the oil and natural gas industry, there are critical stages between removing petroleum and gas from underground and making it available at the touch of a switch in homes, schools, and businesses. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers run the equipment that processes and refines crude petroleum, and they start the process of distributing the fuel by testing it, and feeding it into pipelines. Gas plant operators run compressor equipment along pipelines used by utility companies to distribute and process gas. They maintain the all-important specified pressures within the pipelines. Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators run the equipment that transmits and pressurizes gases such as butane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and natural gas. Parts of their work locations may be temperature controlled, but cold outdoor facilities and hot plants filled with noisy machinery are the norm for these workers. Hazardous conditions and extreme temperatures mean they wear protective gear much of the time. Work schedules are typically at least 40 hours per week, and longer hours are common. It’s typically very physical, exhausting work, although staying safe and effective is essential even when stamina is running thin. Most positions require a high school diploma or equivalent, and earning professional certifications may be helpful for job seekers in this field.