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What You Need to Know About Pump Operator

Pump Operator Definition 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.

Life As a Pump Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Connect hoses and pipelines to pumps and vessels prior to material transfer, using hand tools.
  • Collect and deliver sample solutions for laboratory analysis.
  • 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.
  • Read operating schedules or instructions or receive verbal orders to determine amounts to be pumped.
  • Turn valves and start pumps to start or regulate flows of substances such as gases, liquids, slurries, or powdered materials.
  • Add chemicals and solutions to tanks to ensure that specifications are met.

Qualities of a Pump Operator

Pump Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Main Line Station Engineer
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  • Gas Transfer Operator
  • Concrete Pump Operator
  • Pump Kill Operator

Job Demand for Pump Operators

In the United States, there were 11,900 jobs for Pump Operator in 2016. 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. There will be an estimated 1,700 positions for Pump Operator per 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.

Average Pump Operators Salary

The average yearly salary of a Pump Operator ranges between $28,930 and $73,010.


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
Alabama $54,960
Alaska $52,990
Arizona $51,260
California $54,750
Colorado $46,580
Florida $43,530
Georgia $45,010
Illinois $53,050
Indiana $55,230
Kansas $37,260
Kentucky $47,260
Louisiana $50,270
Michigan $47,440
Minnesota $50,350
Mississippi $40,590
Missouri $38,160
Montana $50,950
Nebraska $33,470
New Hampshire $50,410
New Jersey $47,230
North Dakota $45,540
Ohio $42,550
Oklahoma $46,510
Oregon $48,950
Pennsylvania $42,370
Texas $44,230
Utah $53,060
Washington $45,670
West Virginia $50,010

Tools & Technologies Used by Pump Operators

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?

Education needed to be a Pump Operator:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Pump Operators?


The table below shows the approximate number of Pump Operators employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Career changers with experience as a Pump Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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