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Career and Education Opportunities for Gas Plant Operators in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for gas plant operators in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Currently, 470 people work as gas plant operators in Michigan. This is expected to shrink 2% to 460 people 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. Gas plant operators generally distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Gas plant operators earn about $27 per hour or $57,240 annually on average in Michigan and about $26 per hour or $55,760 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Chemical and Gas, people working as gas plant operators in Michigan earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Chemical and Gas nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a gas plant operator, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. Gas plant operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a gas plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Gas Plant Operator

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 Grand Rapids 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Gas Plant Operator Training

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has a less than one year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.