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Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Refinery Workers in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a petroleum refinery worker, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,480 working petroleum refinery workers in Illinois; this should shrink 13% to about 1,290 working petroleum refinery workers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for petroleum refinery workers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 15.2% over the next eight years. In general, petroleum refinery workers control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units.

Petroleum refinery workers earn about $22 hourly or $47,370 yearly on average in Illinois and about $26 per hour or $55,010 per year on average nationally. Earnings for petroleum refinery workers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Chemical and Gas in Illinois and better than general Chemical and Gas category earnings nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a petroleum refinery worker. The most common level of education for petroleum refinery workers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a petroleum refinery worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Petroleum Refinery Worker

Petroleum Refinery Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, petroleum refinery workers control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. They also may specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

Petroleum refinery workers signal other staff by telephone or radio to operate pumps, open and close valves, and check temperatures. They also verify that incoming and outgoing products are moving through the correct meters, and that meters are working properly. Equally important, petroleum refinery workers have to maintain and repair equipment, or report malfunctioning apparatus to supervisors so that repairs can be scheduled. They are often called upon to start pumps and open valves or use automated apparatus to regulate the flow of oil in pipelines and into and out of tanks. They are expected to formulate movement of products through lines to processing and shipping units, utilizing knowledge of system interconnections and capacities. Finally, petroleum refinery workers record and compile operating data and results of laboratory analyses.

Every day, petroleum refinery workers are expected to be able to imediately see the relationships between collections of numbers, images, and patterns. They need to evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for petroleum refinery workers to patrol units to track the amount of oil in storage tanks, and to confirm that efforts and operations are safe and in adherence to regulations. They are often called upon to operate auxiliary equipment and control multiple processing units during distilling or treating operations, moving controls that regulate valves and auxiliary equipment. They also operate control panels to schedule and regulate process variables such as temperature and pressure, and to direct product flow rate, in line with process schedules. They are sometimes expected to control or operate manifold and pumping systems to circulate liquids through a petroleum refinery. Somewhat less frequently, petroleum refinery workers are also expected to control or operate manifold and pumping systems to circulate liquids through a petroleum refinery.

They also have to be able to collect product samples by turning bleeder valves, or by lowering containers into tanks to obtain oil samples and lower thermometers into tanks to obtain temperature readings. And finally, they sometimes have to direct shutdowns and major projects.

Like many other jobs, petroleum refinery workers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • Gas Plant Operator. Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
  • Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • Power Plant Operator. Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Petroleum Refinery Worker Training

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated ten and nine students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

API 510 Pressure Vessels Inspector Certification: The American Petroleum Institute (API) initiated a Pressure Vessel Inspector Certification Program to improve management control of process unit operation, repair, and maintenance; reduce the potential for inspection delays resulting from regulatory requirements; and provide a continued high level of safety.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

API 570 Piping Inspector Certification : The American Petroleum Institute (API) initiated the Piping Inspector Certification Program (PICP) to provide a continued high level of safety through the use of inspectors specialized in process piping; to improve management control of process unit inspection, repair, alteration and rerating; and to reduce the potential for.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

API 653 Aboveground Storage Tanks Inspector Certification : The American Petroleum Institute (API) initiated an Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector Certification Program with the issuance of Supplement 1 to API 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

API 936 Refractory Personnel Certification : Refractory Personnel Certification Program is based on testing candidates' knowledge of API Recommended Practice 936, Refractory Installation Quality Control Guidelines.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

API TES Tank Entry Supervisor Certification : This third-party certification program qualifies participants as having the minimum knowledge, experience and skills needed to safely perform duties required by tank entry supervisors.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

UT Shear Wave (Detection) Qualification Certification : The API Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) has initiated a new program covering the qualification of ultrasonic (UT) technicians conducting inspections.

For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.

Standard Journeyman Mechanical: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.