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Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Refinery Workers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for petroleum refinery workers. Currently, 1,550 people work as petroleum refinery workers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow by 6% to about 1,650 people 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.

Income for petroleum refinery workers is about $23 per hour or $48,780 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $26 hourly or $55,010 yearly. Petroleum refinery workers earn more than people working in the category of Chemical and Gas generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Chemical and Gas category nationally.

The Philadelphia area is home to 156 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree as a petroleum refinery worker. Petroleum refinery workers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Philadelphia 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.
  • Power Plant Operator. Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Petroleum Refinery Worker Training

Thomas Edison State College - Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State College, 101 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608-1176. Thomas Edison State College is a large college located in Trenton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 17,369 students. Thomas Edison State College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.


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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.