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Career Profile: Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 11,100 people employed as pump operators, except wellhead pumpers in the United States. The median annual salary is $48,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $30,200 per year and senior employees earn approximately $81,290 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Collect and deliver sample solutions for laboratory analysis.
  • Pump two or more materials into one tank to blend mixtures.
  • 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.
  • Record operating data such as products and quantities pumped, stocks used, gauging results, and operating times.
  • 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.
  • Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.
  • Communicate with other workers, using signals, radios, or telephones, to start and stop flows of materials or substances.
  • Connect hoses and pipelines to pumps and vessels prior to material transfer, using hand tools.
  • 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.
  • Clean, lubricate, and repair pumps and vessels, using hand tools and equipment.
  • Read operating schedules or instructions or receive verbal orders to determine amounts to be pumped.
  • Test materials and solutions, using testing equipment.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment such as water treatment and refrigeration units, and heat exchangers.
  • Add chemicals and solutions to tanks to ensure that specifications are met.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
11,100
Annual Openings:
1,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
13%
Annual Salary Range:
$30,200 - $81,290
Education Requirements:
High school diploma