Wellhead Pumper  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics cluster Transportation Operations pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Monitors control panels during pumping operations to ensure that materials are being pumped at the correct pressure, density, rate, and concentration.
  • Operates engines and pumps to shut off wells according to production schedules, and to switch flow of oil into storage tanks.
  • Performs routine maintenance on vehicles and equipment.
  • Repairs gas and oil meters and gauges.
  • Unloads and assembles pipes and pumping equipment, using hand tools.
  • Attaches pumps and hoses to wellheads.
  • Starts compressor engines and diverts oil from storage tanks into compressor units and auxiliary equipment to recover natural gas from oil.
  • Opens valves to return compressed gas to bottoms of specified wells to repressurize them and force oil to surface.
  • Supervises oil pumpers and other workers engaged in producing oil from wells.
  • Drives trucks to transport high-pressure pumping equipment, and chemicals, fluids, or gases to be pumped into wells.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Gauger --
  • Lease Operator --
  • Multi-Skilled Operator --
  • Oilfield Plant and Field Operator --
  • Operations Technician --
  • Production Operator --
  • Pumper --
  • Well Head Pumper --
  • Well Tender --