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Career and Education Opportunities for Gas Plant Operators in Athens, Georgia

Gas plant operator career and educational opportunities abound in Athens, Georgia. The national trend for gas plant operators sees this job pool shrinking by about 4.2% over the next eight years. Gas plant operators generally distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

The income of a gas plant operator is about $19 hourly or $39,920 per year on average in Georgia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $26 hourly or $55,760 yearly on average. Gas plant operators earn less than people working in the category of Chemical and Gas generally in Georgia and more than people in the Chemical and Gas category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Athens where you can study to be a gas plant operator, among five schools of higher education total in the Athens area. Given that the most common education level for gas plant operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Athens 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.


Athens Technical College - Athens, GA

Athens Technical College, 800 US Hwy 29 N, Athens, GA 30601-1500. Athens Technical College is a small college located in Athens, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,131 students. Athens Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.


Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia photo by Richard Chambers

Athens is situated in Brantley County, Georgia. It has a population of over 113,398, which has grown by 13.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Athens, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Athens cost $146,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred four new homes were constructed in Athens, down from four hundred seventy-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Athens are educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 40.0% of Athens residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Athens residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.6%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of God (Cleveland and the The Wesleyan Church.