Career and Education Opportunities for Gas Plant Operators in Houston, Texas
If you want to be a gas plant operator, the Houston, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 2,450 people are currently employed as gas plant operators in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to 2,780 people employed. 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. 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 earn about $26 per hour or $54,870 yearly on average in Texas and about $26 per hour or $55,760 annually on average nationally. Incomes for gas plant operators are better than in the overall category of Chemical and Gas in Texas, and better than the overall Chemical and Gas category nationally.
The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a gas plant operator. Gas plant operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a gas plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Gas Plant Operator
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 Houston 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
School of Automotive Machinists - Houston, TX
School of Automotive Machinists, 1911 Antoine, Houston, TX 77055-1803. School of Automotive Machinists is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 113 students and an admission rate of 100%. School of Automotive Machinists has a less than one year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.