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Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers - 51-8093.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Board Operator
  • Crude Unit Operator
  • Gauger
  • Head Operator
  • Hydrotreater Operator
  • Outside Operator
  • Pumper
  • Refinery Operator
  • Stillman
  • Unit Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

51-0000 Production Occupations
51-8000 Plant and System Operators
51-8090 Miscellaneous Plant and System Operators
51-8093.00 Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

Related Occupations


  • Calculate test result values, using standard formulas.
  • Clamp seals around valves to secure tanks.
  • Clean interiors of processing units by circulating chemicals and solvents within units.
  • Collect product samples by turning bleeder valves, or by lowering containers into tanks to obtain oil samples.
  • Conduct general housekeeping of units, including wiping up oil spills and performing general cleaning duties.
  • Control or operate manifold and pumping systems to circulate liquids through a petroleum refinery.
  • Coordinate shutdowns and major projects.
  • Inspect pipelines, tightening connections and lubricating valves as necessary.
  • Lower thermometers into tanks to obtain temperature readings.
  • Maintain and repair equipment, or report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors so that repairs can be scheduled.
  • Monitor process indicators, instruments, gauges, and meters to detect and report any possible problems.
  • Operate auxiliary equipment and control multiple processing units during distilling or treating operations, moving controls that regulate valves, pumps, compressors, and auxiliary equipment.
  • Operate control panels to coordinate and regulate process variables such as temperature and pressure, and to direct product flow rate, according to process schedules.
  • 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.
  • Perform tests to check the qualities and grades of products, such as assessing levels of bottom sediment, water, and foreign materials in oil samples, using centrifugal testers.
  • Plan movement of products through lines to processing, storage, and shipping units, using knowledge of system interconnections and capacities.
  • Prepare calculations for receipts and deliveries of oil and oil products.
  • Read and analyze specifications, schedules, logs, test results, and laboratory recommendations to determine how to set equipment controls to produce the required qualities and quantities of products.
  • Read automatic gauges at specified intervals to determine the flow rate of oil into or from tanks, and the amount of oil in tanks.
  • Record and compile operating data, instrument readings, documentation, and results of laboratory analyses.
  • Signal other workers by telephone or radio to operate pumps, open and close valves, and check temperatures.
  • Start pumps and open valves or use automated equipment to regulate the flow of oil in pipelines and into and out of tanks.
  • Synchronize activities with other pumphouses to ensure a continuous flow of products and a minimum of contamination between products.
  • Verify that incoming and outgoing products are moving through the correct meters, and that meters are working properly.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids.
  • Analyze test results.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Clean work areas.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for testing.
  • Direct operational or production activities.
  • Inspect production equipment.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Monitor equipment fluid levels.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Operate energy distribution equipment.
  • Operate pumping systems or equipment.
  • Plan production or operational procedures or sequences.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Signal others to coordinate work activities.
  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
  • Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Fuels (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Bulk Fuel Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Cannon Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cryogenics Equipment Operator (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Fuels (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Fuels Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Craftsman, KC-10 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Craftsman, KC-135 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Craftsman, KC-46 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Journeyman, KC-10 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Journeyman, KC-135 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Journeyman, KC-46 (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • In-Flight Refueling Specialist Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Petroleum Laboratory Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Petroleum Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Petroleum Technician (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Repairer (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Gauger
  • Refinery Operator

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Control-Panel Operator
  • Gauger
  • Pumper
  • Refinery Operator