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Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

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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.

    Work Activities
    • Monitor process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters 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, 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.
    • 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.
    • Coordinate shutdowns and major projects.
    • Prepare calculations for receipts and deliveries of oil and oil 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.
    • Lower thermometers into tanks to obtain temperature readings.
    • Inspect pipelines, tightening connections and lubricating valves as necessary.
    • 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.
    • Conduct general housekeeping of units, including wiping up oil spills and performing general cleaning duties.
    Skills
    • Operation Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    • Operation and Control

      Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    4
    Abilities
    • Perceptual Speed

      The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

    • Auditory Attention

      The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.

    Knowledge
    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    Career Video
    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop
    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary $66,760/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $32.10/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 1,550
    • Yearly Projected Openings 150
    Typical Education
    Personality
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Dependability
    • Attention to Detail
    • Integrity
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Achievement/Effort
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    Tools
    • Wellhead flow lines
    • Wellhead beam pumps
    • Oil samplers
    • Load binders
    • Centrifuges
    Technology
    • Word processing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Inventory management software
    • Industrial control software
    • Electronic mail software
    Tags
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.