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Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers

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What Do Pump Operators Do?

Position Description 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.

A Day in the Life of a Pump Operator

  • Pump two or more materials into one tank to blend mixtures.
  • 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.
  • Clean, lubricate, and repair pumps and vessels, using hand tools and 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.

What Every Pump Operator Should Know

These are the skills Pump 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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Pump Operators

  • Pump Operator
  • Wash Oil Pump Operator
  • Pipeline Operator
  • Airveyor Operator
  • Gas Transfer Operator

Is There Job Demand for Pump Operators?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 11,900 jobs in the United States for Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Pump Operators by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,700 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pump Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers are Texas, North Dakota, and Louisiana.

Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, North Carolina, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Pump Operators

The typical yearly salary for Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers is somewhere between $28,930 and $73,010. The median salary is $44,380.

Salary Ranges for Pump Operators

How much do Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

















New Hampshire






West Virginia








New Jersey








North Dakota




















Tools & Technologies Used by Pump Operators

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Pump Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Data entry software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

How to Become a Pump Operator

Are there Pump Operator education requirements?

Pump Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Pump Operator Work Experience

Where Pump Operators Work

Pump Operator Sectors

Those who work as Pump Operators sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Highway Maintenance Workers
  • Power Plant Operators


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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