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Service Unit Operators
Control Opportunities to Flow Your Way
The job of a service unit operator begins after the completion of drilling an oil or gas well. The service unit operator's responsibility is to maintain or increase oil/gas flow from producing wells. Work will vary from site to site, and includes specialized functions such as reading gauges to monitor pressure, density, rate, and concentration, adjust pumping procedures, operating fishing tools and hanger equipment to retrieve lost or damaged equipment. Service unit operators spends a lot of time onsite at inconsistently changing site locations.
With most of their work done outdoors, the operators spend much of their time standing and observing the machinery closely to assure that all cogs of the machinery system are working properly and following proper prodecures if not..
A Service Unit Operator can work under different titles
- Case Hole Electric Wireline Operator
- Fishing Tool Technician
- Line Hanger Operator/Technician
- Oilwell Service Operator
- Reeled Tubing Operator
- Service Unit Operator
- Slick Line Operator/Specialist
With baby boomers retiring, the Gulf Coast Region will need more hands on workers like Operators who are vital to the Oil & Gas Industry.
This occupation does not require a college degree and pays higher wages than other non-degreed jobs.
Start Early and Be Prepared!
High School Endorsement: Business & Industry
Becoming a service unit operator can be simple.
Employers usually require at least high school diploma or equivalent--if you can do the work. Working as a service unit operator is labor intensive and may require heavy lifting, pulling, and walking long distances. Most companies provide on-the-job training for a service unit operator. Workers are usually promoted from entry-level positions based on their job experience, demonstrated performance, interest and potential.
Vocational training and experience working as a rotary helper, floorhand, roustabout, or roughneck are all ways to become a service unit operator, but going directly into on-the-job training is not impossible. Consider getting certified as an Oil Monitoring Analyst or a Fluid Power Connector and Conductor to demonstrate specialty skills to an employer.
Abilities and Skills needed to work as a Service Unit Operator
- Problem Sensitivity: ability to tell when something is wrong
- Arm-Hand Steadiness: keeping your arm steady and hand still while in motion
- Control Precision: ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust controls or machine to an exact position
- Multilimb Coordination: ability to coordinate two or more limbs in different directions at the same time.
- Manual Dexterity: the ability to quickly move one hands, both hands, or hands and arms to manipulate objects.
Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region
- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
- Drill Quip
- Kinder Morgan, Inc.
- HollyFrontier Oil Corporation
- Hercules Offshore
- National-Oilwell Varco
- Rowan Companies Inc.
*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.