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What Does it Take to Be a Gas Plant Operator?

Occupation Description Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Life As a Gas Plant Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Change charts in recording meters.
  • Control operation of compressors, scrubbers, evaporators, and refrigeration equipment to liquefy, compress, or regasify natural gas.
  • Calculate gas ratios to detect deviations from specifications, using testing apparatus.
  • Clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed.
  • Monitor equipment functioning, observe temperature, level, and flow gauges, and perform regular unit checks to ensure that all equipment is operating as it should.
  • Control fractioning columns, compressors, purifying towers, heat exchangers, and related equipment to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Gas Plant Operator?

These are the skills Gas Plant Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Oil and Gas Specialist
  • Pressure Controller
  • High Pressure Operator
  • Water Gas Operator
  • Bulk Gas Specialist

Is There Job Demand for Gas Plant Operators?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 17,300 jobs in the United States for Gas Plant Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Gas Plant Operator. There will be an estimated 1,700 positions for Gas Plant Operator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Gas Plant Operator are Washington, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Wisconsin, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Gas Plant Operator

The average yearly salary of a Gas Plant Operator ranges between $45,830 and $100,410.


Gas Plant Operators who work in California, Massachusetts, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Gas Plant Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $70,950
Alaska $63,430
Arizona $62,000
Arkansas $66,620
California $101,610
Colorado $70,260
Florida $50,660
Georgia $59,900
Illinois $74,590
Indiana $68,580
Iowa $54,440
Kansas $67,660
Kentucky $68,240
Louisiana $68,370
Maryland $81,460
Massachusetts $85,470
Michigan $76,690
Minnesota $72,810
Mississippi $60,460
Missouri $73,370
Montana $70,400
Nebraska $61,120
New Hampshire $69,370
New Jersey $75,150
New Mexico $61,910
New York $77,460
North Carolina $61,280
North Dakota $85,740
Ohio $68,680
Oklahoma $64,560
Oregon $75,560
Pennsylvania $67,210
South Carolina $53,070
Tennessee $56,170
Texas $68,690
Utah $68,550
Virginia $63,950
Washington $82,790
West Virginia $70,730
Wyoming $73,870

What Tools do Gas Plant Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Gas Plant Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Work scheduling software

Becoming a Gas Plant Operator

Education needed to be a Gas Plant Operator:


What work experience do I need to become a Gas Plant Operator?


Who Employs Gas Plant Operators?


Below are examples of industries where Gas Plant Operators work:


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Gas Plant Operator may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Gas Plant Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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