Wellhead Pumpers
53-7073.00

Operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce flow of oil or gas from wells in oil field.

Sample of reported job titles: Field Operator, Lease Attendant, Lease Operator, Oilfield Plant Operator, Pumper, Well Field Technician, Well Head Pumper, Well Tender, Wellhead Pumper

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Monitor pumps and flow lines for gas and fluid leaks.
  • Gauge oil and gas production.
  • Start compressor engines and divert oil from storage tanks into compressor units and auxiliary equipment to recover natural gas from oil.
  • Monitor control panels during pumping operations to ensure that materials are being pumped at the correct pressure, density, rate, and concentration.
  • Operate engines and pumps to shut off wells according to production schedules, and to switch flow of oil into storage tanks.
  • Repair gas and oil meters and gauges.
  • Perform routine maintenance on vehicles and equipment.
  • Open valves to return compressed gas to bottoms of specified wells to repressurize them and force oil to surface.
  • Change water filters.
  • Prepare trucks and equipment necessary for the type of pumping service required.
  • Attach pumps and hoses to wellheads.
  • Mix acids, chemicals, or dry cement as required for a specific job.
  • Unload and assemble pipes and pumping equipment, using hand tools.
  • Supervise oil pumpers and other workers engaged in producing oil from wells.
  • Drive trucks to transport high-pressure pumping equipment, and chemicals, fluids, or gases to be pumped into wells.
  • Control pumping and blending equipment to acidize, cement, or fracture gas or oil wells and permeable rock formations.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 97% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 97% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 62% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 22% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 40% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 11% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 22% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 47% responded “Important results.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 34% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 35% responded “Very important.”
  • Consequence of Error — 43% responded “Serious.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 50% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 37% responded “About half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 25% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Letters and Memos — 29% responded “Never.”
  • Level of Competition — 56% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 35% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 19% responded “No responsibility.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 80%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 11%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 7%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.

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Interests

Interest code: RCI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$30.64 hourly, $63,740 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
18,000 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
2,300
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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