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Wellhead Pumpers
SOC Code: 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: Gauger, Lease Operator, Multi-Skilled Operator, Oilfield Plant and Field Operator, Operations Technician, Production Operator, Pumper, Well Head Pumper, Well Tender, Wellhead Pumper


  • 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.
  • Perform routine maintenance on vehicles and equipment.
  • Repair gas and oil meters and gauges.
  • Unload and assemble pipes and pumping equipment, using hand tools.
  • Attach pumps and hoses to wellheads.
  • Start compressor engines and divert oil from storage tanks into compressor units and auxiliary equipment to recover natural gas from oil.
  • Open valves to return compressed gas to bottoms of specified wells to repressurize them and force oil to surface.
  • 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.
  • Prepare trucks and equipment necessary for the type of pumping service required.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches - Crescent wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled - All terrain vehicles ATV
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Chemical pumps - Chemical injection pumps; Electrical chemical pumps; Mechanical chemical pumps; Pneumatic chemical pumps
  • Circulating pumps
  • Combination wrenches
  • Depth gauges - Digital depth gauges; Gauging lines
  • Diesel engines
  • Downhole jet pumps - Hydraulic lift systems
  • Ear plugs - Hearing protection plugs
  • Electric downhole pumps - Insert pumps; Tubing pumps
  • Emergency medical services first aid kits - First aid kits
  • Eyewashers or eye wash stations - Eye wash stations
  • Fire extinguishers - Multipurpose fire extinguishers
  • Fuse pullers - Fuse pulling tools
  • Gas compressors - Beam gas compressors; Gas powered compressors
  • Gas engines - Four-cycle engines; Two-cycle engines
  • Gas gauges - Gas meters
  • Gas generators - Gas powered generators
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Grease guns - Grease dispensing guns
  • Hammers - Shop hammers
  • Heat exchangers - Heat exchanging units
  • Hot water tank - Water heating tanks
  • Level sensors or transmitters - Echometers
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles - Pickup trucks
  • Mechanical rod pumps - Mechanical lifting pumps
  • Mud pumps
  • Multimeters - Digital multimeters
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Oil gauges - Oil level gauges
  • Oil samplers - Oil sampling tools
  • Oil storage tanks - Oil retention tanks
  • Oil water separators - Oil separation tools; Wash tanks
  • Oil well heater treaters - Heat treaters
  • Personal computers
  • Plunger lift equipment - Plunger lifts
  • Pressure calibrator - Dead weight testers
  • Pressure indicators - Pressure gauges; Quartz pressure gauges
  • Protective gloves - Insulated gloves
  • Remote reading thermometers - Temperature recording instruments
  • Respirators - Protective respirators
  • Scaffolding - Pump jacks
  • Screwdrivers - Multipurpose screwdrivers
  • Spark plug wrench - Spark plug wrenches
  • Storage tanks - Slop tanks
  • Stuffing box - Stuffing boxes
  • Submersible pumps - Electric submersible pumps
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Through tubing perforation guns - Jet guns
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Volumeters - Lease automatic lease custody LACT units
  • Water storage tanks - Water disposal tanks
  • Well pumps - Natural gas lifts; Parallel pumps; Pumping wellheads
  • Well testing separators - Test separators


  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


  • Operation 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.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.


  • Interest code: RCI
    • 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.

Work Context

  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 57% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 80% responded “Important results.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error - 46% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Contact With Others - 51% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure - 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 42% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 47% responded “About half the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 56% responded “Important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 29% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 40% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 44% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Letters and Memos - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Electronic Mail - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 49% responded “Important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 32% responded “Important.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
67%High school diploma or equivalent
13%Less than high school diploma
9%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $25.13 hourly, $52,260 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 12,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,800

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