What Do Petroleum Pump System Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Petroleum Pump System Operators 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. They also monitor process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters to detect and report any possible problems.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.

We asked Petroleum Pump System Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

80%

How meaningful is this job

63%


80% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 63% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Petroleum Pump System Operators conduct general housekeeping of units, including wiping up oil spills and performing general cleaning duties. They maintain and repair equipment, or report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors so that repairs can be scheduled.

A typical day for a Petroleum Pump System Operator, Refinery Operator and Gauger will also include:

  • Monitor process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters to detect and report any possible problems.
  • Prepare calculations for receipts and deliveries of oil and oil products.
  • Inspect pipelines, tightening connections and lubricating valves as necessary.
  • Control or operate manifold and pumping systems to circulate liquids through a petroleum refinery.
  • Operate auxiliary equipment and control multiple processing units during distilling or treating operations, moving controls that regulate valves, pumps, compressors, and auxiliary equipment.

We asked some Petroleum Pump System Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 63% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 54% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 89% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 11% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 3% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 67% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Petroleum Pump System Operators also calculate test result values, using standard formulas. They may also coordinate shutdowns and major projects.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Petroleum Pump System Operators Prepare calculations for receipts and deliveries of oil and oil products. They might also Synchronize activities with other pumphouses to ensure a continuous flow of products and a minimum of contamination between products.

In addition, they Clean interiors of processing units by circulating chemicals and solvents within units.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Maintain and repair equipment, or report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors so that repairs can be scheduled.

To some Petroleum Pump System Operators, it is also their responsibility to 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.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Petroleum Pump System Operator, Refinery Operator and Gauger, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Petroleum Pump System Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
74%


Once a year
10%


Do Petroleum Pump System Operators work outdoors?

Every day
85%


Once a month
8%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends 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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Petroleum Pump System Operators

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Related to Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators and Gaugers Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2013/spring/art02.pdf



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