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

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Pump Operators tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes. They also monitor gauges and flowmeters and inspect equipment to ensure that tank levels, temperatures, chemical amounts, and pressures are at specified levels, reporting abnormalities as necessary.

Other tasks include:

  • Record operating data such as products and quantities pumped, stocks used, gauging results, and operating times.
  • Communicate with other workers, using signals, radios, or telephones, to start and stop flows of materials or substances.
  • Tend vessels that store substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials, checking levels of substances by using calibrated rods or by reading mercury gauges and tank charts.
  • Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.
  • Plan movement of products through lines to processing, storage, and shipping units, using knowledge of interconnections and capacities of pipelines, valve manifolds, pumps, and tankage.
  • Read operating schedules or instructions or receive verbal orders to determine amounts to be pumped.

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

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

47%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 47% 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, Pump Operators record operating data such as products and quantities pumped, stocks used, gauging results, and operating times. They read operating schedules or instructions or receive verbal orders to determine amounts to be pumped.

A typical day for a Pump Operator will also include:

  • Tend auxiliary equipment such as water treatment and refrigeration units, and heat exchangers.
  • Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.
  • Monitor gauges and flowmeters and inspect equipment to ensure that tank levels, temperatures, chemical amounts, and pressures are at specified levels, reporting abnormalities as necessary.
  • Communicate with other workers, using signals, radios, or telephones, to start and stop flows of materials or substances.
  • Collect and deliver sample solutions for laboratory analysis.

We asked some Pump 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? 62% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 74% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 81% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 1% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 11% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 59% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Pump Operators also clean, lubricate, and repair pumps and vessels, using hand tools and equipment. They may also pump two or more materials into one tank to blend mixtures.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Pump Operators Connect hoses and pipelines to pumps and vessels prior to material transfer, using hand tools. They might also Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.

In addition, they Add chemicals and solutions to tanks to ensure that specifications are met.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Test materials and solutions, using testing equipment.

To some Pump Operators, it is also their responsibility to Plan movement of products through lines to processing, storage, and shipping units, using knowledge of interconnections and capacities of pipelines, valve manifolds, pumps, and tankage.


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 Pump Operator, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

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

Every day
75%


Never
14%


Do Pump Operators work outdoors?

Every day
96%


Once a week
3%



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.



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Related to Pump Operators Job Description

Pump Operators job description, what do Pump Operators do, typical day for Pump Operators, what is it like to work as a Pump Operator, how many hours do Pump Operators work, day to day work of a Pump Operator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2013/spring/art02.pdf
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes537072.htm


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