Petroleum pump system operator


Petroleum pump system operators tend pumps that keep the circulation of oil and derived products running smoothly. They monitor the flow within the pipes at a refinery and test the equipment to ensure minimum disruptions. Pump systems operators work from a highly automated control room, where they communicate with other workers to coordinate pump activities. Pump system operators undertake minor repairs and maintenance, and report as called for.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a petroleum pump system operator.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Petroleum pump system operator is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Petroleum pump system operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to petroleum pump system operator.

air pollution analyst
gas processing plant control room operator
oil refinery control room operator
refinery shift manager
mine safety officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of petroleum pump system operator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of petroleum pump system operator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

mine ventilation engineer
mud logger
mine electrical engineer
mine mechanical engineer
quarry engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of petroleum pump system operator.

  • Mechanical tools: Understand machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • Chemistry: The composition, structure, and properties of substances and the processes and transformations that they undergo; the uses of different chemicals and their interactions, production techniques, risk factors, and disposal methods.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of petroleum pump system operator.

  • Operate oil pumping systems: Manipulate control panels to adjust pressure and temperature and to direct product flow rate. Control oil pumping systems; monitor liquid circulation in petroleum refinery.
  • Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
  • Inspect pipelines: Walk flow lines to identify damage or leaks; use electronic detection equipment and conduct visual inspections.
  • Synchronise pumphouse activities: Ensure synchronicity between pump houses; pursue continuous product flow and minimal product contamination.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Control pumping operations in petroleum production: Control plant operations and gas and oil pumping equipment. Monitor gauges and monitors and control the equipment to make sure the extraction proceeds efficiently and safely.
  • Manage emergency procedures: React quickly in case of emergency and set planned emergency procedures in motion.
  • Collect oil samples: Collect petroleum product samples by turning bleed valves; insert container into tank to obtain sample material.
  • Set equipment controls: Manipulate equipment controls to produce required volumes and required product quality. Take into account lab recommendations, schedules and test results.
  • Verify oil circulation: Ensure that incoming and outgoing materials circulate through correct meters; ensure that meters work properly.
  • Coordinate remote communications: Direct network and radio communications between different operational units. Receive and transfer further radio or telecom messages or calls. These might include messages from the public, or the emergency services.
  • Operate hydraulic pumps: Operate hydraulic pumping systems.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of petroleum pump system operator. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of petroleum pump system operator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Write production reports: Make up and complete shift schedules and production reports in a timely manner.
  • Maintain mechanical equipment: Observe and listen to machinery operation to detect malfunction. Service, repair, adjust, and test machines, parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical principles. Maintain and repair vehicles meant for cargo, passengers, farming and landscaping.
  • Adjust tightness of pump components: Tighten or unscrew pump parts using hand and power tools; maintenance of tubing, casing and pump rods.

ISCO group and title

3134 – Petroleum and natural gas refining plant operators

  1. Petroleum pump system operator – ESCO
Last updated on January 25, 2023

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