What is a Pump Operator?
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.
What Do Pump Operators Do On a Daily Basis?
- 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.
- Communicate with other workers, using signals, radios, or telephones, to start and stop flows of materials or substances.
- Tend auxiliary equipment such as water treatment and refrigeration units, and heat exchangers.
- Read operating schedules or instructions or receive verbal orders to determine amounts to be pumped.
- Connect hoses and pipelines to pumps and vessels prior to material transfer, using hand tools.
- Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.
Skills Needed to be a Pump Operator
When polled, Pump Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Concrete Pump Operator
- Pumper Gager Apprentice
- Panelboard Tank Pumper
- Concrete Boom Pump Operator
- Pipeline Dispatch Operator
Is There Job Demand for Pump Operators?
There were about 11,900 jobs for Pump Operator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Pump Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,700 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Pump Operator are North Dakota, Idaho, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, North Carolina, or New Jersey. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Pump Operator Average Salary
The salary for Pump Operators ranges between about $28,930 and $73,010 a year.
Pump Operators who work in Indiana, California, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
How much do Pump Operators make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools do Pump Operators Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pump Operators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Data entry software
- Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
How do I Become a Pump Operator?
What education or degrees do I need to become a Pump Operator?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Pump Operator?
Who Employs Pump Operators?
The table below shows the approximate number of Pump Operators employed by various industries.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those who work as a Pump Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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