Gas Plant Operators
SOC: 51-8092.00


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
16,700 employed

Projected (2024):
16,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Bulk Gas Specialist
  • Compressor Station Operator
  • Dispatcher
  • Engine Room Operator
  • Field Gauger
  • Fuel Attendant
  • Gas Controller
  • Gas Dispatcher
  • Gas Distribution Plant Operator
  • Gas Maker
  • Gas Operator
  • Gas Plant Dispatcher
  • Gas Plant Operator
  • Gas Plant Specialist
  • Gas Plant Technician
  • Gas Processing Plant Operator
  • Gas Producer
  • Gas Specialist
  • Gas System Operator
  • Gas Systems Worker
  • Gas Technician
  • Gas Treater
  • Gauger
  • Heat Plant Specialist
  • High Pressure Operator
  • Liquefaction and Regasification Plant Operator
  • Liquefaction Plant Operator
  • Liquefied Natural Gas Operator (LNG Operator)
  • Liquid Natural Gas Plant Operator (LNG Plant Operator)
  • Liquified Natural Gas Specialist (LNG Specialist)
  • Liquified Natural Gas Technician (LNG Technician)
  • Load Dispatcher
  • Natural Gas Plant Technician
  • Oil and Gas Specialist
  • Operation Specialist
  • Oxygen Plant Operator
  • Plant Operator
  • Pressure Controller
  • Pressure Dispatcher
  • Process Plant Operator
  • Regasification Plant Operator
  • Tank Terminal Gauger
  • Terminal Gauger
  • Water Gas Operator

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Monitor transportation and storage of flammable and other potentially dangerous products to ensure that safety guidelines are followed.
  • 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 operation of compressors, scrubbers, evaporators, and refrigeration equipment to liquefy, compress, or regasify natural gas.
  • Start and shut down plant equipment.
  • Record, review, and compile operations records, test results, and gauge readings such as temperatures, pressures, concentrations, and flows.
  • Adjust temperature, pressure, vacuum, level, flow rate, or transfer of gas to maintain processes at required levels or to correct problems.
  • Clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed.
  • Collaborate with other operators to solve unit problems.
  • Determine causes of abnormal pressure variances, and make corrective recommendations, such as installation of pipes to relieve overloading.
  • Read logsheets to determine product demand and disposition, or to detect malfunctions.
  • Test gas, chemicals, and air during processing to assess factors such as purity and moisture content, and to detect quality problems or gas or chemical leaks.
  • Contact maintenance crews when necessary.
  • Change charts in recording meters.
  • Distribute or process gas for utility companies or industrial plants, using panel boards, control boards, and semi-automatic equipment.
  • Control equipment to regulate flow and pressure of gas to feedlines of boilers, furnaces, and related steam-generating or heating equipment.
  • Control fractioning columns, compressors, purifying towers, heat exchangers, and related equipment to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air.
  • Calculate gas ratios to detect deviations from specifications, using testing apparatus.
  • Signal or direct workers who tend auxiliary equipment.
  • Operate construction equipment to install and maintain gas distribution systems.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Centrifugal pumps
  • Chain hoists
  • Cordless power drills
  • Digital calipers
  • Digital micrometers
  • Electric boilers
  • Gas compressor systems
  • Gas distribution control valves
  • Gas pumps
  • Gas-powered turbines
  • Glycol dehydration systems
  • Heat exchangers
  • Laboratory scrubbers
  • Mini hacksaws
  • Multipurpose screwdrivers
  • Nitrogen rejection units
  • Personal computers
  • Positive displacement PD pumps
  • Power generation engines
  • Programmable logic controllers PLC
  • Punch sets
  • Socket sets
  • Stepladders
  • Sulfur recovery units
  • Titrators
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Operating log software
  • Quorum PGAS
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Work scheduling software

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220