What does a Pipeline Operator do?

Learn all about Pipeline Operator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Pipeline Operator.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A pipeline operator is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a pipeline system. This may include tasks such as monitoring the flow of fluids through the pipeline, inspecting and repairing the pipeline, and controlling the pumps and valves that regulate the flow of fluids.

Pipeline Operator job duties include:

  • Operates pumps, compressors, and other equipment to move liquids, gases, and other materials through a pipeline.
  • Reads and interprets gauges, meters, and other data displays to verify operating conditions and identify potential problems.
  • Adjusts flow rates and pressures to maintain proper flow of materials through the pipeline.
  • Monitors equipment for proper functioning and perform preventive maintenance as necessary.
  • Inspects pipeline system for leaks, corrosion, or other damage.
  • Responds to emergency situations such as spills or equipment failures.
  • Keeps accurate records of pipeline operations.
  • Follows all safety procedures to protect self and others from injury or harm.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Pipeline Operator Job Requirements

Pipeline Operators are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of natural gas pipelines. They must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must complete a certified training program. Many operators also have an Associate’s degree in applied science or a related field. Pipeline Operators must have at least one year of experience working with natural gas pipelines, and must be able to pass a written exam.

Pipeline Operator Skills

  • Pipefitting
  • Welding
  • Hydraulics
  • Pneumatics
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Maintenance
  • Safety Procedures
  • Operations
  • Quality Control

Related: Top Pipeline Operator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Pipeline Operator

Pipeline operators are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of pipelines. They work in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, water and sewerage, and manufacturing.

To become a pipeline operator, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to complete an approved training program. Many pipeline operators are certified by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE).

Operators must be able to read and understand technical manuals and drawings. They must be able to use hand-held tools and equipment, as well as computerized control systems. Operators must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with other members of the pipeline operations team.

Pipeline operators must be able to work safely and efficiently under pressure. They must be able to make quick decisions in emergency situations.

Related: Pipeline Operator Resume Example

Related: Pipeline Operator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)