Expand mobile version menu

Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates steam, gas, electric motor, or internal combustion engine driven compressors. Transmits, compresses, or recovers gases, such as butane, nitrogen, hydrogen, and natural gas.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Monitors meters and pressure gauges to determine consumption rate variations, temperatures, and pressures.
  • Adjusts valves and equipment to obtain specified performance.
  • Reads gas meters, and maintains records of the amounts of gas received and dispensed from holders.
  • Operates power-driven pumps that transfer liquids, semi-liquids, gases, or powdered materials.
  • Records instrument readings and operational changes in operating logs.
  • Turns knobs or switches to regulate pressures.
  • Moves controls and turns valves to start compressor engines, pumps, and auxiliary equipment.
  • Responds to problems by adjusting control room equipment or instructing other personnel to adjust equipment at problem locations or in other control areas.
  • Takes samples of gases and conducts chemical tests to determine gas quality and sulfur or moisture content, or sends samples to laboratories for analysis.
  • Cleans, lubricates, and adjusts equipment, and replaces filters and gaskets, using hand tools.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Compressor Operator --
  • Compressor Station Operator --
  • Field Operator --
  • Filler --
  • Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Operator (LNG Plant Operator) --
  • Pipeline Systems Operator --
  • Pipeline Technician --
  • Plant Operator --
  • Production Technician --
  • Terminal Operator --