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Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Refinery Workers in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for petroleum refinery workers. There are currently 810 jobs for petroleum refinery workers in Washington and this is projected to grow by 6% to 860 jobs 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. Petroleum refinery workers generally control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units.

Petroleum refinery workers earn about $28 per hour or $60,160 yearly on average in Washington and about $26 hourly or $55,010 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for petroleum refinery workers are better than in the overall category of Chemical and Gas in Washington, and better than the overall Chemical and Gas category nationally.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a petroleum refinery worker. Petroleum refinery workers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Seattle 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.
  • Sewage Treatment Plant Operator. Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or liquid waste.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Petroleum Refinery Worker Training

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a less than one year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated fifty-six students 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.