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Career profile Wellhead Pumper

Also known as Field Operator, Lease Attendant, Lease Operator, Oilfield Plant Operator, Pumper, Well Field Technician, Well Head Pumper, Well Tender, Wellhead Pumper

Wellhead Pumper

Also known as Field Operator, Lease Attendant, Lease Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$34,940 - $85,110 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Monitor pumps and flow lines for gas and fluid leaks.
  • Gauge oil and gas production.
  • Start compressor engines and divert oil from storage tanks into compressor units and auxiliary equipment to recover natural gas from oil.
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What does a Wellhead Pumper do?

Wellhead Pumpers operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce flow of oil or gas from wells in oil field.

What kind of tasks does a Wellhead Pumper perform regularly?

Wellhead Pumpers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor pumps and flow lines for gas and fluid leaks.
  • Gauge oil and gas production.
  • Start compressor engines and divert oil from storage tanks into compressor units and auxiliary equipment to recover natural gas from oil.
  • Monitor control panels during pumping operations to ensure that materials are being pumped at the correct pressure, density, rate, and concentration.
  • Operate engines and pumps to shut off wells according to production schedules, and to switch flow of oil into storage tanks.
  • Repair gas and oil meters and gauges.
  • Perform routine maintenance on vehicles and equipment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Wellhead Pumpers. More generally, Wellhead Pumpers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.

What is a Wellhead Pumper salary?

The median salary for a Wellhead Pumper is $60,720, and the average salary is $60,500. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Wellhead Pumper salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Wellhead Pumpers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Wellhead Pumpers earn less than $34,940 per year, 25% earn less than $46,590, 75% earn less than $74,190, and 90% earn less than $85,110.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Wellhead Pumpers is expected to change by 8.8%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Wellhead Pumpers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$34,940 - $85,110
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Wellhead Pumpers?


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 Wellhead Pumper are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Wellhead Pumpers 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.

Also, Wellhead Pumpers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


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 Wellhead Pumper tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Wellhead Pumpers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Wellhead Pumpers 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.

Lastly, Wellhead Pumpers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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 Wellhead Pumpers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Wellhead Pumpers, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Wellhead Pumpers need?

Working as a Wellhead Pumper usually requires a high school diploma.

Wellhead Pumpers 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 Wellhead Pumpers

  • 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 Wellhead Pumpers

Wellhead Pumpers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Wellhead Pumpers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Important Abilities needed by Wellhead Pumpers

Wellhead Pumpers 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, Wellhead Pumpers need abilities such as problem sensitivity, near vision, and information ordering in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Wellhead Pumpers, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
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 Wellhead Pumpers

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.

Wellhead Pumpers 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 Wellhead Pumpers, 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/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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.