Skills Needed To Become a Refinery Worker

skills needed to become a refinery worker

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  • Are you interested in a rough and rugged adventure?

    In that case, a career as an oil refinery worker could be for you.

    You’ll become a part of our nation’s vital infrastructure—and encounter a high demand for your expertise. But before you jump in, you should understand what a refinery worker does.

    Refinery workers are the people behind the machines. Pumps and pipelines are what convert oil to fuel. Refinery workers keep them going. Interested?

    Read more about the skills needed to become a refinery worker and see if this exciting career is your perfect fit.


    As for any job, you’ll need to consider how much education to obtain. According to, 21.4 percent of oil refinery operators have a bachelor’s degree.

    In terms of higher education levels, they found that 3.6 percent of oil refinery operators have master’s degrees. Those numbers aren’t very high—in fact, it showcases that you don’t need a college degree for the role.

    Many of these workers only possess a high school education or a GED!


    Trying to figure out whether you’d succeed in this position? Let’s delve into the different skills you’ll need to reach success.

    As with most positions, the specific skills needed for hire will depend on the company itself—some are more willing to train than others. Companies may instruct you on machine operation and operation of tools and sensors, which is critical for an oil refinery worker. But some skills don’t stem from any training. Problem solving, for example, is on you.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Handle long hours:

      In this position, you’ll need to handle long shifts—think 12 hours or longer. But it’s not just 12 hours at a machine; these are physically demanding hours. You’ll need the stamina to operate heavy equipment in a fast-paced environment.

    • Strength and safety:

      Oil refinery workers need strength, as they spend most of their day working with heavy machinery. If you’re already prone to back problems, then this may not be a great fit. Oil refinery work can be hazardous, and you may face the risk of chemical spills, leaks, and explosions.

    • Problem solving and record keeping:

      To address the challenges of sensitive tools and equipment, refinery operators need to think on their feet and solve problems efficiently. You must take accurate measurements and record them. Make sure you can maintain your workflow at all times.

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    The skills needed to become a refinery worker involve a mix of strength and smarts. You may not need a college degree, but you do need to the ability to think for yourself and make crucial decisions. And of course, you’ll have to keep heavy machinery in check.

    If you think you have the proper skills, then consider a career as an oil refinery worker. The job you’re looking for might be just around the corner in the form of this unique occupation.

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