Gas and Petroleum Operators
Gas or Petroleum Operators operate equipment to pump oil and gas from wellheads, and refine and process petroleum products.
Also known as: Oil and Gas Well Treatment Operator; Oil, Gas and Pipe Tester; or Petroleum and Gas Refining and Pumping Operator.
Specialisations: Gas Compressor Turbine Operator, Petroleum Blending Plant Operator, Petroleum Terminal Plant Operator, Refinery Pipeline Operator.
A certificate III in process plant operations is usually needed to work as a Gas or Petroleum Operator. Some workers complete a traineeship.
Controls equipment that performs continuous and batch processes to process natural gas, manufacture refined petroleum products, and blend petroleum base stocks to produce commercial fuels, lubricating oils and asphalt.
Controls the preparation, measuring and feeding of raw material and processing agents into plant.
Patrols and inspects equipment to ensure proper operation and sets operating controls on equipment.
Analyses samples and readings and records test data.
Controls records of production, quantities transferred and details of blending and pumping operations.
Checks equipment for malfunctions and arranges maintenance.
Writes reports and maintains records on equipment performance, instrument readings and switching operations.
Carries out routine operating tests.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Chemical, Gas, Petroleum & Power Plant Operators, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 96% of people employed as Gas and Petroleum Operators work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 30 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 57 hours per week in their main job. This is 13 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Gas and Petroleum Operators work in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Gas and Petroleum Operators||All Jobs Average|
Around 52% of Gas and Petroleum Operators live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Gas and Petroleum Operators is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 5% of the workforce. This is 43 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Gas and Petroleum Operators||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III in process plant operations is usually needed to work as a Gas or Petroleum Operator. Some workers complete a traineeship.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Resources and Infrastructure Industry, Gas Industry, National Water Industry, Chemical, Hydrocarbons & Refining, Electricity Supply Industry - Generation Sector VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Gas and Petroleum Operators||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||1.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||7.9||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Boat Builders and Shipwrights who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
55%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
54%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Reading work related information.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
46%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
45%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Talking to others.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
50%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
42%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
42%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
41%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
35%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
31%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
28%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
26%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
23%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
23%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
18%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
54%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Read and understand written information.
See details that are far away.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
50%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Tell the difference between sounds.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
84%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
75%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
73%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
70%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
69%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
67%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
66%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
63%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
60%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
60%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
59%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
59%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
57%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
57%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
53%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
51%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
49%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
48%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
48%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
100%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
Talk with people face-to-face.
94%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
94%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
92%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
91%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
90%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
89%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Talk on the telephone.
86%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
86%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
86%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
86%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
84%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
83%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work to strict deadlines.
Work with people in a group or team.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-8093.00 - Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.