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Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Refinery Workers

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.

Select a state from the map below to find education opportunities to begin your Petroleum Refinery Worker career.


Highlighted states contain educational opportunities in Chemical and Gas

JOB DESCRIPTION: Petroleum Refinery Worker

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

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.