What Does A Gas Plant Operator Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Gas Plant Operators

Gas Plant Operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Salary
$73290
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Gas Plant Operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

  • Distribute or process gas for utility companies or industrial plants, using panel boards, control boards, and semi-automatic equipment.
  • Monitor transportation and storage of flammable and other potentially dangerous products to ensure that safety guidelines are followed.
  • Monitor equipment functioning, observe temperature, level, and flow gauges, and perform regular unit checks to ensure that all equipment is operating as it should.
  • Control operation of compressors, scrubbers, evaporators, and refrigeration equipment to liquefy, compress, or regasify natural gas.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Gas Plant Operators change charts in recording meters. They clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed.

A typical day for a Gas Plant Operator will also include:

  • Collaborate with other operators to solve unit problems.
  • Read logsheets to determine product demand and disposition, or to detect malfunctions.
  • Monitor equipment functioning, observe temperature, level, and flow gauges, and perform regular unit checks to ensure that all equipment is operating as it should.
  • Start and shut down plant equipment.
  • Calculate gas ratios to detect deviations from specifications, using testing apparatus.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Gas Plant Operators also signal or direct workers who tend auxiliary equipment. They may also operate construction equipment to install and maintain gas distribution systems.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Gas Plant Operators collaborate with other operators to solve unit problems. They might also change charts in recording meters.

In addition, they contact maintenance crews when necessary.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed.

To some Gas Plant Operators, it is also their responsibility to control equipment to regulate the flow and pressure of gas to feedlines of boilers, furnaces, and related steam-generating or heating equipment.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Average

Is this job meaningful

High

69% said they were satisfied with their job and 68% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Demand for this career is declining.

How much do they make

Average salary

$73290 per year

Average hourly wage

$35 per hour

Entry-level Gas Plant Operators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $44,490 to $56,870 per year or $21 to $27 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $105,770 $51
Senior (Top 25%) $87,610 $42
Median $72,970 $35
Junior (Bottom 25%) $56,870 $27
No experience (Bottom 10%) $44,490 $21

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Gas Plant Operators based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing $90110 $43.32
Natural Gas Distribution $79090 $38.02
Chemical Manufacturing $77220 $37.12
Management of Companies and Enterprises $75130 $36.12
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil $74420 $35.78
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $74300 $35.72
Other Pipeline Transportation $73950 $35.55
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas $72540 $34.87
Oil and Gas Extraction $72090 $34.66
Support Activities for Mining $70130 $33.72

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Gas Plant Operators work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Gas Plant Operators including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 5220 $72540 $34.87
Natural Gas Distribution 4840 $79090 $38.02
Oil and Gas Extraction 1200 $72090 $34.66
Local Government 1140 $55660 $26.76
Chemical Manufacturing 530 $77220 $37.12
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil 180 $74420 $35.78
Management of Companies and Enterprises 180 $75130 $36.12
Support Activities for Mining 180 $70130 $33.72
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing 160 $90110 $43.32
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods 120 $49870 $23.98

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
70%

More than 40 hours
30%

Working schedule

80%

20%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
11%

Every day
84%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
3%

Every day
97%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
43%

Every day
56%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
43%

Once a year
15%

Once a month
33%

Once a week
8%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
10%

Slightly competitive
36%

Moderately competitive
26%

Highly competitive
2%

Extremely competitive
26%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
40%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
10%

Every day
48%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
25%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
3%

Once a week or more
25%

Every day
45%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
4%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
13%

Every day
82%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
18%

Once a year or more
17%

Once a month or more
9%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
49%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
5%

High School Diploma or equivalent
43%

Post-Secondary Certificate
39%

Some College Courses
11%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
2%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Petroleum Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development and operation of oil and natural gas extraction and processing facilities. Includes instruction in principles of petroleum extraction and related geology, petroleum field mapping and site analysis, testing and sampling methods, instrument calibration, laboratory analysis, test equipment operation and maintenance, environment and safety monitoring procedures for oil/gas fields and facilities, facility inspection procedures, and report preparation.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
25%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
9%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
30%

2 to 4 years
25%

4 to 6 years
4%

6 to 8 years
1%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
5%

1 month
10%

1 to 3 months
17%

3 to 6 months
21%

6 months to 1 year
1%

1 to 2 years
30%

2 to 4 years
13%

4 to 10 years
3%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
90%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
48%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
14%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
38%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
90%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
52%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
60%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
38%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
52%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
86%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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