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Career profile Gas Compressor Operator

Also known as Compressor Operator, Compressor Station Operator, Compressor Technician, Fill Plant Operator, Filler, Gas Plant Operator, Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Operator (LNG Plant Operator), Pipeline Technician, Plant Operator, Terminal Operator

Gas Compressor Operator

Also known as Compressor Operator, Compressor Station Operator, Compressor Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$36,220 - $85,230 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Monitor meters and pressure gauges to determine consumption rate variations, temperatures, and pressures.
  • Respond to problems by adjusting control room equipment or instructing other personnel to adjust equipment at problem locations or in other control areas.
  • Record instrument readings and operational changes in operating logs.
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What does a Gas Compressor Operator do?

Gas Compressor Operators operate steam-, gas-, electric motor-, or internal combustion-engine driven compressors.

In addition, Gas Compressor Operators transmit, compress, or recover gases, such as butane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and natural gas.

What kind of tasks does a Gas Compressor Operator perform regularly?

Gas Compressor Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor meters and pressure gauges to determine consumption rate variations, temperatures, and pressures.
  • Respond to problems by adjusting control room equipment or instructing other personnel to adjust equipment at problem locations or in other control areas.
  • Record instrument readings and operational changes in operating logs.
  • Adjust valves and equipment to obtain specified performance.
  • Move controls and turn valves to start compressor engines, pumps, and auxiliary equipment.
  • Operate power-driven pumps that transfer liquids, semi-liquids, gases, or powdered materials.
  • Submit daily reports on facility operations.
  • Take samples of gases and conduct chemical tests to determine gas quality and sulfur or moisture content, or send samples to laboratories for analysis.
  • Read gas meters, and maintain records of the amounts of gas received and dispensed from holders.
  • Turn knobs or switches to regulate pressures.
  • Clean, lubricate, and adjust equipment, and replace filters and gaskets, using hand tools.
  • Maintain each station by performing general housekeeping duties such as painting, washing, and cleaning.
  • Connect pipelines between pumps and containers that are being filled or emptied.

The above responsibilities are specific to Gas Compressor Operators. More generally, Gas Compressor Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Gas Compressor Operator salary?

The median salary for a Gas Compressor Operator is $67,840, and the average salary is $63,770. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Gas Compressor Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Gas Compressor Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Gas Compressor Operators earn less than $36,220 per year, 25% earn less than $50,400, 75% earn less than $78,620, and 90% earn less than $85,230.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Gas Compressor Operators is expected to change by -2.4%, and there should be roughly 400 open positions for Gas Compressor Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$67,840
Typical salary range
$36,220 - $85,230
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.4%

What personality traits are common among Gas Compressor Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Gas Compressor Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Gas Compressor Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Gas Compressor Operator tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Gas Compressor Operators moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Gas Compressor Operators moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Gas Compressor Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Gas Compressor Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, stress tolerance, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Gas Compressor Operators, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

What education and training do Gas Compressor Operators need?

Working as a Gas Compressor Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Gas Compressor Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Gas Compressor Operators

  • 14.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 43.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 22.3% completed some college coursework
  • 7.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 10.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Gas Compressor Operators

Gas Compressor Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Gas Compressor Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Important Abilities needed by Gas Compressor Operators

Gas Compressor Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Gas Compressor Operators need abilities such as manual dexterity, finger dexterity, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Gas Compressor Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Critical Skills needed by Gas Compressor Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Gas Compressor Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Gas Compressor Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
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.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.