What do Wellhead Pumpers Do?
Wellhead pumpers work in industries such as oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining, pipeline transportation of natural gas, and natural gas distribution. They run power pumps and secondary equipment to produce oil flow or gas flow from wells in oil fields. Because the job entails working with sensitive materials, following safety standards and procedures is critical. In the United States, job growth through at least 2022 is positive, with a 15 percent net increase and about 800 job openings annually.
Wellhead Pumpers Skills and Abilities
When you are a wellhead pumper, you have good mechanical knowledge, meaning deep familiarity with the designs of the equipment you work with as well as how to use, maintain and repair the equipment. You also have a strong sense of duty in following public safety and security protocols and employ critical thinking, monitoring and problem sensitivity skills.Essential abilities for the job include control precision to quickly and precisely adjust a machine’s controls. Also necessary are quick reaction times and near vision, meaning that you can see within a few feet of yourself. Multilimb coordination enables you to coordinate two limbs, such as one arm and one leg, while standing, sitting or lying down.
Wellhead Pumpers Duties
As a wellhead pumper, you pump oil and gas, a job that is made up of many small tasks. For example, you are responsible for connecting hoses to equipment and controlling the pumps and their auxiliary equipment. You also operate the vehicles that move the equipment and keep these vehicles running well. Specific job tasks entail:
- Repairing gas and oil meters and gauges
- Following production schedules for operating pumps and switching flow into storage tanks
- Opening valves to repressurize specific wells and to bring oil to the surface
- Supervise other pumpers and workers in the field
- Mix dry cement, acids and chemicals as necessary
- Driving trucks to transport pumping equipment, chemicals, gases and fluids
Wellhead Pumpers Tools and Technology
The tools you work with as a wellhead pumper include chemical injection pumps, electrical chemical pumps and pneumatic chemical pumps. You use digital depth gauges as well as gauging lines, and natural gas lifts, parallel pumps and pumping wellheads are a big part of the job. You also work with electric downhole pumps, tubing pumps and insert pumps. The technology you use includes data entry software, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.
Education and Training for Wellhead Pumpers
If you are interested in becoming a wellhead pumper, you probably don’t need to wait long. Nearly half of pumpers have a high school diploma or its equivalent, while some did not complete high school. Other pumpers have associate and bachelor’s degrees. Many employers like to see experience or a work-related skill—for example, classes in math and English. Once you’re hired, you’ll train for a few months to a year.
Wellhead Pumpers Salary
In the United States, wellhead pumpers make a pretty good salary, especially considering the flexible education requirements. The median salary is $47,300, with the bottom 10 percent of pumpers making about $27,000 yearly. The upper 10 percent earns in excess of $72,000. Oil and gas extraction is the highest-paying industry for these pumpers.
Wellhead Pumpers Jobs by Geography
Rather than seeking higher pay by industry, you might want to find higher pay by geography. Head to North Dakota, California, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Keep in mind that wellhead pumper jobs are in states where there is oil or gas, and much of the United States, such as the Southeast, is unavailable. The states that employ the most wellhead pumpers are Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. To find the most wellhead pumper jobs per thousand positions, check out Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico and Oklahoma.