Service Unit Operators: The Backbone of the Oil and Gas Industry

Service Unit Operators: The Backbone of the Oil and Gas Industry

If you’re interested in working in the oil and gas sector and have a mind for mechanical systems, a career as a Service Unit Operator may be just what you are looking for. These workers are the backbone of the oil and gas industry, keeping production running smoothly and efficiently. They operate a variety of equipment and machinery used in the extraction, storage, and transportation of petroleum-based products.

Job Examples

Service Unit Operators perform a wide range of tasks to help keep the oil and gas industry moving forward.

  • Handling and monitoring drilling fluids, which are used to cool and lubricate drill bits and remove rock cuttings from the wellbore.
  • Maintaining the equipment and machinery used in oil production, including pumps, motors, and compressors.
  • Performing routine inspections and preventive maintenance on equipment to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently.
  • Laying pipeline and monitoring the flow of oil or gas from one location to another.
  • Ensuring that all safety protocols are being followed at all times in order to protect personnel and equipment.

Education and Training

In order to become a Service Unit Operator, you will typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, most employers prefer applicants with at least some experience or training in the oil and gas industry. Some Service Unit Operators also have specialized training in areas such as gas processing, pipeline maintenance, or well servicing.

One way to gain experience and training is by working in an entry-level position, such as a roustabout or roughneck, and working your way up. Many employers offer on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs for those who show promise and a dedication to the job.

Progression and Advancement

Service Unit Operators typically start out in entry-level positions and work their way up to more advanced roles over time. For example, a Service Unit Operator may begin by performing routine maintenance tasks or operating a single piece of equipment. As they gain experience and demonstrate their ability to handle more responsibility, they may be promoted to a lead operator position, where they oversee a group of operators and are responsible for coordinating the work of the team.

From there, a Service Unit Operator might advance into a supervisory or management role, such as a Well Services Supervisor, where they oversee the day-to-day operations of an entire department or unit.

Getting Started

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a Service Unit Operator, your best bet is to start by gaining some entry-level experience in the oil and gas industry. Look for job openings for roustabouts or roughnecks, which are lower-level positions that can provide you with the experience and skills you need to get started.

Once you have some experience under your belt, start looking for openings for Service Unit Operators. Check online job boards, research potential employers, and network with people already working in the field. With hard work and dedication, you can build a career as a Service Unit Operator and make a significant contribution to the oil and gas industry.

Salary Data: Service Unit Operators, Oil and Gas

Geography Job Level Union Status Salary (Average) Salary (Least Paid)
US National Average All levels Nonunion $52,624.00 $47,840.00
US National Average All levels Full-time $57,678.40 $52,832.00
US National Average All levels Time-based pay $57,096.00 $52,312.00
Texas All levels Nonunion $53,361.00 $48,590.00
Alaska All levels Nonunion $61,821.00 $56,340.00

Service unit operators in the oil and gas industry are responsible for operating and maintaining equipment used in the extraction and transportation of oil and gas. The national average salary for this occupation ranges from $52,624 to $57,678. The data suggests that full-time service unit operators on time-based pay have the highest average salary of $57,678, while nonunion workers earn the least at an average of $52,624.

Unionization can have an impact on the salary and benefits of service unit operators. Unionized workers typically earn higher salaries and receive better benefits compared to nonunion workers. The effects of unionization will depend on the specific union and geographical location.

In Texas, service unit operators earn an average salary of $53,361, while in Alaska, service unit operators earn an average salary of $61,821, which is significantly higher than the national average.