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Career and Education Opportunities for Gas Plant Operators in San Jose, California

Gas plant operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the San Jose, California area. There are currently 1,000 jobs for gas plant operators in California and this is projected to grow by 10% to 1,100 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for gas plant operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 4.2% over the next eight years. In general, gas plant operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

A person working as a gas plant operator can expect to earn about $34 per hour or $71,400 yearly on average in California and about $26 hourly or $55,760 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for gas plant operators are better than in the overall category of Chemical and Gas in California, and better than the overall Chemical and Gas category nationally.

The San Jose area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can get a degree as a gas plant operator. Gas plant operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a gas plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.


Gas Plant Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, gas plant operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Gas plant operators adjust temperature and/or transfer of gas to maintain processes at required levels or to fix problems. They also start and shut down plant equipment. Equally important, gas plant operators have to record and compile operations records and gauge readings such as temperatures and flows. They are often called upon to monitor equipment functioning and flow gauges, and perform regular unit checks, in order to insure that all equipment is operating as it should. They are expected to clean and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed. Finally, gas plant operators control operation of compressors and refrigeration equipment so as to liquefy or regasify natural gas.

Every day, gas plant operators are expected to be able to focus on a single sound in a noisy environment. They need to imediately see the relationships between collections of numbers, images, and patterns.

It is important for gas plant operators to test gas and air during processing to gauge factors such as purity and moisture content, and to uncover quality problems or gas or chemical leaks. They are often called upon to decide on causes of abnormal pressure variances, and make corrective recommendations, such as installation of pipes to relieve overloading. They also monitor transportation and storage of flammable and other potentially dangerous products to insure that safety guidelines are followed. They are sometimes expected to change charts in recording meters. Somewhat less frequently, gas plant operators are also expected to start and shut down plant equipment.

Gas plant operators sometimes are asked to calculate gas ratios to uncover deviations from specifications, using testing apparatus. They also have to be able to control fractioning columns and related equipment so as to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air and signal or direct staff who tend auxiliary equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to control fractioning columns and related equipment so as to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air.

Like many other jobs, gas plant operators must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
  • Power Plant Operator. Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.


CET-Sobrato - San Jose, CA

CET-Sobrato, 701 Vine St, San Jose, CA 95110. CET-Sobrato is a small school located in San Jose, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 497 students. CET-Sobrato has a less than one year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.


San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.