A gas plant operator is responsible for overseeing and operating all equipment that processes gas for utility companies. This person works within a factory or plant setting, where hours and shifts can vary. A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required. However, a two-year technical or vocational program is often recommended that includes courses in physics, chemistry, mechanical equipment, and office applications. Much of the training in this area is done on the job. This position is supervisory in nature.
A gas plant operator supervises and controls both the storage and distribution of natural gas. Other primary responsibilities include monitoring equipment, observing various gauges (including temperature, pressure, level, and flow), controlling various equipment (compression, scrubbing, refrigeration, evaporation, etc.), calculating gas ratios, detecting abnormal specifications, optimizing rates and levels of gases, testing oxygen for purity, shutting down and starting plant equipment, depressurizing equipment and pipelines, removing and replacing filters and fluids, and repairing and reciprocating equipment and valves.
This person should be extremely proficient in mathematics and chemistry, as well as common office applications and safety protocol. The gas plant operator is chiefly responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the employees within the plant and the plant itself. This person should be highly attentive to detail and have the in-depth ability to troubleshoot, solve complex problems, make decisions quickly, listen actively, communicate effectively, and monitor all operations and employees. This person also should have extensive mechanical knowledge in order to facilitate their designs and maintenance.
Gas Plant Operator Tasks
Start-up and shutdown plant equipment.
Operate plant equipment and systems.
Adjust controls to operate equipment in the recommended or prescribed operating ranges.
Operate natural gas plant and pipeline equipment including amine treating plants, chilled water gas conditioning skids, and more.
Inspect equipment and controls at periodic intervals to detect malfunctions or need for repair, adjustment or lubrication.