Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

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.

Tasks

  • Monitor process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters in order to detect and report any possible problems.
  • 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, utilizing 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.
  • Coordinate shutdowns and major projects.
  • Perform tests to check the qualities and grades of products, such as assessing levels of bottom sediment, water, and foreign materials in oil samples, using centrifugal testers.
  • Prepare calculations for receipts and deliveries of oil and oil products.
  • Lower thermometers into tanks to obtain temperature readings.
  • Clean interiors of processing units by circulating chemicals and solvents within units.
  • Clamp seals around valves to secure tanks.
  • Calculate test result values, using standard formulas.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Absorption Plant Operator
Blender
Board Operator
Boiler House Operator
Cat Cracker Operator
Control Board Operator
Control Operator
Control Panel Operator
Crude Unit Operator
Dock Operator
Dock Pumper
Field Gauger
Fractionation Plant Supervisor
Fuel Distribution System Operator
Gas Blender
Gasoline Plant Operator
Gauger
Head Operator
Houseman
Hydro Operator
Hydrotreater Operator
Oil Gauger
Oil Plant Operator
Oil Process Stillman
Oil Pumper
Oil Refiner
Oil Refinery Operator
Operations Boardman
Operator
Outside Operator
Petroleum Plant Operator
Petroleum Refinery Worker
Petroleum Supply Specialist
Pilot Plant Operator
Pipeline Dispatcher
Plant Operator
Pressure Controller
Process Control Board Operator
Process Operator
Product Blending Supervisor
Pump House Technician
Pumper
Pumper Helper
Refiner
Refinery Operator
Refining Equipment Operator
Stillman
Tank Terminal Gauger
Terminal Gauger
Transfer Pumper
Unit Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$29.73 hourly, $61,850 annual.
Employment (2008):
41,020 employees