Oil Recovery Unit Operator

Control equipment to separate recoverable oil from refinery sewage systems.
picture of Oil Recovery Unit Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $58,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Oil Recovery Unit Operators do?

Controls processing equipment to separate recoverable oil from refinery sewage system: Starts pumps, observes flowmeters and pressure meters, and turns valves to regulate directional flow of oil, water, solids, chemicals, and air, according to operating procedures. Turns handwheels to control skimming devices that collect sprung oil from reservoirs of separation units. Opens valves on steam heat-exchanger to raise temperature of skimmed oil to treating temperature. Mixes and blends caustic cleansing and demulsifying chemicals into oil to remove impurities and water. Turns valves to pump reclaimed oil to storage tanks, solids to disposal unit, and water to oxidation ponds or to separator unit for recycling. Records amount of oil reclaimed, amount of water or impurities removed, and specified data concerning operating condition of processing equipment.


Should I be an Oil Recovery Unit Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • How to Become an
    Oil Recovery Unit Operator

    Most Oil Recovery Unit Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gibaa&chl=no+college+%2879%25%29|certificate+%288%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%282%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,79,79
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