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Old 11-22-2020, 06:21 PM   #1
LlanoHunter10
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Default Refinery Job Question

I have a question about applying for a job at a refinery. I am in the process of transferring from working offshore and want to do something on land. I worked 10 years in the engine department of a 300 foot offshore supply vessel. I am the chief engineer overseeing all vessel maintenance, record keeping, operating pumps, engines, generators and bunkering or offloading liquid mud, fuel,water cement and barite

What does this translate into a facilities related job? Operator, technician? Would like to know what to apply for when I search for jobs. Thanks guys!
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:01 PM   #2
matt21418
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Probably could do almost anything from an operator to a pump mechanic, and possibly even something in the reliability group depending upon how the company is structured. At least at the refinery I know typically you get an uplift for shift work which would be an operator and with the rotating shift have a 7 day off period every 28 days. The pump mechanic and reliability type roles would end up being day shift jobs with weekends off.


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Old 11-22-2020, 10:42 PM   #3
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Operator/ operations tech are kinda interchangeable.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:23 AM   #4
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What about in Commercial buildings industry, 95% inside work.
Or in Commercial Generators service company like Stewart Stevenson working on diesel motors etc
Or a company like a Paco pump, or maybe a repairs co. also on commercial or industrial buildings or plants
Good luck to you

Last edited by whitetailfanatic; 11-23-2020 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:50 AM   #5
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Should cross over to millwright,boilermaker easy,with opportunity in Operations as well.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:01 AM   #6
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Maintenance Planner.....but you'll have to learn the ropes.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:11 AM   #7
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I worked offshore for 6 years with ROVís now I have been a Operator at a plant coming up on 3 years now. My suggestion is apply to smaller plants, batch plants etc. Most big name plants are hard to get on at unless you have a degree or 5+ years experience.

Get you some experience at a smaller plant then once you get experience apply, apply then reapply again to those bigger plants. (Shell, Valero, Chevron, Exxon, Lyondell and many more)
You can still make great money at smaller plants as well. Let me know if you have any questions if we hire soon Iíll keep you in mind.


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Old 11-23-2020, 07:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for all yalls helps guys. Some really great suggestions to think about.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:46 AM   #9
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With your experience if you can get into a field where you aren’t exposed to the chemical and refined products you will be far ahead health wise.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:23 PM   #10
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Pm sent
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I have a question about applying for a job at a refinery. I am in the process of transferring from working offshore and want to do something on land. I worked 10 years in the engine department of a 300 foot offshore supply vessel. I am the chief engineer overseeing all vessel maintenance, record keeping, operating pumps, engines, generators and bunkering or offloading liquid mud, fuel,water cement and barite

What does this translate into a facilities related job? Operator, technician? Would like to know what to apply for when I search for jobs. Thanks guys!
Operations no doubt.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:26 AM   #12
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I think you could do any of the above mentioned. Not trying to derail, I’ve been in operations at a power plant for almost 14 years. I hate the shift work but have a lifestyle that has gotten accustomed to that type of money. I wish I would’ve gone a different route. I think with your experience you can find something that isn’t shift work, and that’s what I’d shoot for. Nrg energy is where I work, keep an eye on their website.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:05 PM   #13
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Some additional questions i have for yall. Been looking more into the Operator position as alot of yall have suggested and would like some clarification before i jump into this.

--Does refinery/Plant offer benefits such as medical, dental, vision, and 401K?

--Is pay based on Salary or hourly and is there additional pay for overtime?

--How hard is it to get an operator job with my level of experience and how did yall find the jobs at the respective plant you work for? Friends/Family? Job Search and apply online?

--With shift work, is there enough time for family?

--For new hires that have never worked in a plant, do they assign a trainer or mentor to show you the ropes, or just feed you to the fire to fend for yourself?

Thanks Guys!
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:23 PM   #14
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Your skill set would carry over well to being an engineer on an inland towboat as well. I know you did not ask about that, but when I read your background, that is the first thing that came to my mind.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:25 PM   #15
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Many plants/refineries generally have great medical, dental, 401k etc.
Unless they start you out as a contractor operator for a short duration prior to hiring you as a full company employee.

Operators are generally hourly and yes overtime is a big part of the money to be made. It’s built in with the schedule but then there’s plenty of coverage that will come along.

Many of the larger plants/refineries have a training course you will go through. Online modules, classroom training and operator mentor type training.

With your level of experience I wouldn’t say it would be hard to come on as an entry level operator. There’s dedicated Facebook pages for operators that you will see occasionally see people post when a company is hiring. Your local workforce office is also an option as many plants go through them. Also research plants and refineries in your area and you can also register and get email notifications when jobs open. Word of mouth, family, friends...also another route for knowing when a hiring will go on.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:52 PM   #16
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Shift work is hard at times and you will miss out on a lot of family time. I’d imagine it would still be better than being offshore though. The pay/benefits are good and there is usually plenty of OT available for those who want it. Days off during the week to do whatever you want is nice, especially if you fish(less crowded). My lease is 5 hours away and if I worked a normal day job I don’t think I could make it work. I usually save my vacation for deer season and tie it to my week off each month so I’ll have 2-3 weeks off at a time to get lease trips in.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:20 PM   #17
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Lots of plant jobs with good pay and benefits. Just make sure it's not a Koch facility.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:55 AM   #18
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I know "good pay" is all relative. Doing some research online and I'm coming up with all sorts of different numbers as far as salary. Some have salary as low as $41,000 and as high as $80,000. I know it all depends on experience and overtime, but what can i realistically expect for a beginner operator position with my experience level of working offshore. Please PM me if you dont want to post publicly. Sorry for all these questions, but I have a growing family i need to think about and provide for. Thanks again.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I know "good pay" is all relative. Doing some research online and I'm coming up with all sorts of different numbers as far as salary. Some have salary as low as $41,000 and as high as $80,000. I know it all depends on experience and overtime, but what can i realistically expect for a beginner operator position with my experience level of working offshore. Please PM me if you dont want to post publicly. Sorry for all these questions, but I have a growing family i need to think about and provide for. Thanks again.
Minimal OT 100K easy. Working shift work you will always have built in OT.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I know "good pay" is all relative. Doing some research online and I'm coming up with all sorts of different numbers as far as salary. Some have salary as low as $41,000 and as high as $80,000. I know it all depends on experience and overtime, but what can i realistically expect for a beginner operator position with my experience level of working offshore. Please PM me if you dont want to post publicly. Sorry for all these questions, but I have a growing family i need to think about and provide for. Thanks again.
I'm on the chemical side, but all have comparable pay, benefits, and schedules. You'll start off in the $25-$30hr. range, and could be in the 6 figure range (Including OT) within 1 year. Most sites ask for the P-Tech degree (San Jac or COM) that takes ~2 years to get. It's a plus, but not required in Some plants.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:12 AM   #21
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I can’t speak on refineries but I’ve been a natural gas plant operator for 10 years now. (Cryo).

1. Everybody offers good medical. Usually BCBS. And covers a hefty portion.

2. Pay great varies. Brand new operators I’ve seen anywhere from $25-34ish. And goes up quite a bit with experience. You should have no problem being well over $100k eventually.

3. 401k. Employer match is usually really good. 3-6% match dollar for dollar.

I’ve worked 7/7, 14/14(remote with a man camp on location) and currently running 4/4. You do have more family time. Even when I was away for 14+ days at a time I had 2 whole weeks off to do whatever we wanted.

Typically as far as training is concerned, you rotate a bit with everyone till you’re good enough to go on shift and will be put with one of the more experienced operators so they can train you and they can pick up the slack and handle things that you don’t know yet. I e also had it to where they would run a 3 man shift to get you trained as well.

My advice on training and plant work is as follows.

Don’t be that guy that needs to be told what to do. Know your job. Do it. No excuses.
Operators watch movies and all that at night. Fine and dandy. So long as you do your job. If something comes up, you do your job first. Don’t put your job on hold to watch a movie.

Walk down pipe. Learn the process. Read the P&IDs. Ask questions about flows, chemicals, temps, pressures, and the general science behind it. Know the how, why, when and everything in between. I’ll train anyone on everything I know but I won’t force feed them. If they don’t want to learn then that’s their problem. I’ve seen a lot more that don’t care and just want a paycheck over the years than those who want a career. And that’s sad because it’s a very good career and 99% of the time it’s a cake walk. They pay us to be able to handle problems and trouble shoot fast the few times it’s needed.

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:16 AM   #22
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Are you pro-union? Lots of garbage politics come with working for a plant. I did it for 13 years and finally glad to break the chains. It's good $ bit dupont kinda sucks sometimes since yiu will miss important days and watch your family grow up without you.

Always tired, metabolism always off, eating schedule always off, working 18s sucks too. Lots of busy bodies that have great ideas and the level of (yes) people to kiss butt to the bosses is high.

I was a salaried employee and non-union, I've seen their BS for a long time.

Remember, qualifying barely matters. Seniority matters. Lmao

Benefits were really good though.

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Last edited by jaime1982; 01-17-2021 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:48 AM   #23
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Are you pro-union? Lots of garbage politics come with working for a plant. I did it for 13 years and finally glad to break the chains. It's good $ bit dupont kinda sucks sometimes since yiu will miss important days and watch your family grow up without you.

Always tired, metabolism always off, eating schedule always off, working 18s sucks too. Lots of busy bodies that have great ideas and the level of (yes) people to kiss butt to the bosses is high.

I was a salaried employee and non-union, I've seen their BS for a long time.

Remember, qualifying barely matters. Seniority matters. Lmao

Benefits were really good though.

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All solid reasons why Iíve stayed out of refineries haha. The *** kissing guys drive me nuts too.
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I know "good pay" is all relative. Doing some research online and I'm coming up with all sorts of different numbers as far as salary. Some have salary as low as $41,000 and as high as $80,000. I know it all depends on experience and overtime, but what can i realistically expect for a beginner operator position with my experience level of working offshore. Please PM me if you dont want to post publicly. Sorry for all these questions, but I have a growing family i need to think about and provide for. Thanks again.
If you're not making $100k plus as an operator you have attendance issues.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:01 AM   #25
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Apply to operating technician/ operator jobs to get your foot in the door. Then try to move maintenance / rotating equip tech if you would like to work days. You could also try to hire straight into that but applying for Operations will give you more opportunity to get your foot in the door. Shift life can be tough physically and on family life but the money can be good. Lots of good input above.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:11 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaime1982 View Post
Are you pro-union? Lots of garbage politics come with working for a plant. I did it for 13 years and finally glad to break the chains. It's good $ bit dupont kinda sucks sometimes since yiu will miss important days and watch your family grow up without you.

Always tired, metabolism always off, eating schedule always off, working 18s sucks too. Lots of busy bodies that have great ideas and the level of (yes) people to kiss butt to the bosses is high.

I was a salaried employee and non-union, I've seen their BS for a long time.

Remember, qualifying barely matters. Seniority matters. Lmao

Benefits were really good though.



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Spoken like a true salary tur d.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:16 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I have a question about applying for a job at a refinery. I am in the process of transferring from working offshore and want to do something on land. I worked 10 years in the engine department of a 300 foot offshore supply vessel. I am the chief engineer overseeing all vessel maintenance, record keeping, operating pumps, engines, generators and bunkering or offloading liquid mud, fuel,water cement and barite

What does this translate into a facilities related job? Operator, technician? Would like to know what to apply for when I search for jobs. Thanks guys!
Donít limit yourself to refineries. Also apply at chemicals plants. Sounds like process operator would be your best bet right now.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:54 AM   #28
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Donít limit yourself to refineries. Also apply at chemicals plants. Sounds like process operator would be your best bet right now.

Definitely this. The demand for petrochemicals is forecast to increase through 2040, but refining will experience pressure with the new administration.

I donít believe my company is hiring, as weíve been hit pretty hard with the downturn. When things recover though, we have a Diesel engine services division that serves the fracking, on-road, power generation, inland marine, and offshore drilling markets. Your experience would fit with a number of potential opportunities in Houston or elsewhere throughout the US.


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Old 01-18-2021, 08:10 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
Some additional questions i have for yall. Been looking more into the Operator position as alot of yall have suggested and would like some clarification before i jump into this.

--Does refinery/Plant offer benefits such as medical, dental, vision, and 401K?

--Is pay based on Salary or hourly and is there additional pay for overtime?

--How hard is it to get an operator job with my level of experience and how did yall find the jobs at the respective plant you work for? Friends/Family? Job Search and apply online?

--With shift work, is there enough time for family?

--For new hires that have never worked in a plant, do they assign a trainer or mentor to show you the ropes, or just feed you to the fire to fend for yourself?

Thanks Guys!
1. Yes most refineries and chem plants offer benefits. Even up to getting a college degree, some companies offer assistance.

2, Pay is hourly, Time and a half for OT, holiday pay, shift differential, built in OT every month

3. With your experience, you should be able to get a job, probably of your choice and location.

4. Shift work gives you the time to be off with your family or work all you want.

5. Most plants look at you as an investment, they will train you in a class, then should set you up with an Operator, usually on days, then on shift once you are appointed a shift.

6. If you can, look into LNG plants/loading facilities. You can thank me later.

Last edited by lovemylegacy; 01-18-2021 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:16 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I know "good pay" is all relative. Doing some research online and I'm coming up with all sorts of different numbers as far as salary. Some have salary as low as $41,000 and as high as $80,000. I know it all depends on experience and overtime, but what can i realistically expect for a beginner operator position with my experience level of working offshore. Please PM me if you dont want to post publicly. Sorry for all these questions, but I have a growing family i need to think about and provide for. Thanks again.
On our site, $30-$55 an hour....$100 per year is easy to make without working much OT.


Don't be scared off by any negativity, the job will be what you make of it. Busy bodies are in every field. Get your rest, eat right, exercise. I have been working shift work since '91 and wouldn't have it any other way. I love it!
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:42 AM   #31
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I really appreciate everyone's input with all my questions. I'm glad yall have this real world experience that I can count on. Got really discouraged when I saw $41,000 as the low end for a starting operator online. Shift work shouldn't be an issue for me as I currently work 30/30 with 12 hour shifts offshore.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:51 AM   #32
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You will probably have to try for a smaller facility, most of the places now seem like they want experience as an operator, or a degree. With a maintenance type background I would shoot for something like that. Same pay/benefits as an operator but day shift.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlanoHunter10 View Post
I really appreciate everyone's input with all my questions. I'm glad yall have this real world experience that I can count on. Got really discouraged when I saw $41,000 as the low end for a starting operator online. Shift work shouldn't be an issue for me as I currently work 30/30 with 12 hour shifts offshore.
I started in 2014 at a chem plant.. I came in at the 18 month rate. I worked 1200 hours of overtime that year and made 120k. We had a turnaround in 2020, with that and people being out for covid I could have made over 200k . I turned down 40 or 50 days of overtime.. shift may not be for everyone but I love it.. The guys I work with will make trades so we rarely miss a kids ball game or special event .. I do work holidays but you get use to making plans around work .

Good luck there are a lot of people hiring right now.. get on linked in and sign up for job alerts..
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:35 AM   #34
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Process operator is the way to go. Most places it’s a Cush job most of the time. You won’t have a problem making 100k a year.
Go for it, you won’t regret
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:59 AM   #35
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Spoken like a true salary tur d.
I spent many years watching grown men act like children inside the gate. It gets old fast.

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Old 01-18-2021, 04:03 PM   #36
lovemylegacy
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I spent many years watching grown men act like children inside the gate. It gets old fast.

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There is always one or two, but it wouldn't stop me from working shift work. I have found that shift does not have the market cornered on infantile people.
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:53 PM   #37
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Been an operator for almost 13yrs now. I’m currently a board (console) operator. I’d overlook the negativity spoken above. Shift work has its pros & cons. I work 14 shifts a month. 7 days and 7 nights. I’m off the rest of the time. I do have to work 2 weekends a month though. Once a month I get 7 straight off in a row. You’ll end up with way more time to spend with your family than most, if that is your priority. Plus, time off during the week to hunt/fish when everyone else is at work. This schedule also allows you to have/pursue a side business on your time off if you have a desire to. You can make $100K a year working little if any overtime. As an operator, you are paid for what you know. Not what you do. By that I mean, you are paid for what you know how to do should an upset situation occur. You are not paid to stay busy for 12hrs a shift. It’s not expected. Atleast not at most places. As long as you get your rounds done, what you do the rest of the time is up to you. The comment about metabolism/diet....that’s total BS. Eat right and have some self control and it’s a non issue.
Good luck to you.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:03 PM   #38
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Shift worker for 46+ yrs. Has its up & downs. Can make a lot of $ but will miss a lot of birthdays, soft/base ball games, anniversaries, Christmases doing it! For the past 20
+yrs i have made 100K+ & climbing but as said. Retired as of 12/31/20 and happy now!
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:45 PM   #39
Beargrasstx
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I work at Valero Refinery

I would stay away from batch plants if possible. I started there but would avoid that if given a choice between jobs.

Benefits, 401k, etc are top of the line

We work 12 hour shifts and are on the dupont schedule. The dupont schedule is the best schedule in my opinion if deciding between jobs. I have worked a 4 on, 4 off as well.

After 8 hours we get paid overtime on the remaining 4 hours everyday. Not every company is like this. Most just pay regular pay for the 12 hours.

You can expect to work 150 hours to 500 overtime hours depending on what plant you get hired at in the industry. I generally work about 200 hours or less a year of overtime. This is not including the mentioned 4 hours of OT each day.

You can expect to make 25 an hour up to 60 an hour depending where you work. Most places will be in the 35 to 40 dollar range per hour. The 60 an hour is on the high end and I believe that is enterprise pipeline controllers but that is hearsay.

Basically you will work about 6 months out of the year and make at least 100k. You can make up to 200k if you work a lot of overtime.

Some plants offer bonuses. The best bonus in the industry is at Ineos but Valero offers a pretty good bonus as well. Not every place offers bonuses. Be thankful if you get hired at a place that does.

You can expect a pension plan in addition to a company matching your 401k contributions. Matching contributions are generally 6% up to 7 or 8 percent.

You will make good money.

However, the negative is you will miss lots of family and friend gatherings. You will be off in the weekday and working weekends. You will work holidays. You will work in the rain or crappy conditions. Transitioning from days to nights sucks. It takes a toll on your body.

If you work with a great group of guys on shift it is awesome. On the flip side, if not, you are stuck with those guys or that guy for 6 months and 12 hour days....

Training will depend a lot on you and your ability to be a go getter. There are programs but they look better on paper than they are actually in the field. You will not be thrown to the wolves but you need to show drive on your own. Go out every time there is a problem, ask questions, and help your coworkers. In return, they will be more likely to come and help you. Plus, you get more exposure and hands on experience. Study P&IDs and trace pipes on your own, but don't hesitate to ask questions. The more you show that you don't need your hand held the more help you will get. You have to understand that your coworkers do not want to invest their time in someone that is not putting forth effort.

Last edited by Beargrasstx; 01-18-2021 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:47 PM   #40
Muddy Bud
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Don’t work in a refinery but I think the stability by itself would be worth the move compared to working offshore. Being away from the family won’t be as bad at least you’ll be home everyday. Been trying to get into a plant for a few years now but most plants around here require a college degree.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:55 PM   #41
Trevor73402
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One thing I always tell people.....doesn’t matter how much a barrel of crude is selling for, it still has to be refined......job security. We haven’t had a lay off in over 20 yrs. Been so long I don’t even recall. It was back when my dad was still alive and working there.
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Old 01-18-2021, 07:19 PM   #42
be12hunt
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I’ll be honest, I only skimmed through the responses to the thread. You will get some varying opinions based on a diverse set of experiences that people have had. I was in chemical plant operations for about 8 years. In my experience, it would be hard for you to avoid enough overtime to make less than 100k/year.
Depending on whether you prefer shift-work or not would determine what field. Operations would obviously be shift. Maintenance group would offer the same benefits and similar take-home pay, but no shift. I’ve had roles in operations that were really busy and not much laid-back time. My last operations role was total opposite, we had to search for something to do.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:09 PM   #43
LlanoHunter10
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I can't tell yall how much these responses mean to me from alot of real work experience. Its making me feel better about this change. I figure between my degree and my offshore machinery and engineering experience, I should do okay. Lots of prayers ahead for a positive change. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:48 PM   #44
bloodtrail18
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I'm looking at making the switch back to land from a drilling rig also. This 28 day hitch alone I've missed Christmas, daughters bday, sons first deer, New Years, and my anniversary. The money is good but missing half of seeing my kids growing up is getting old.
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:00 PM   #45
DUKFVR
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Good Luck to you Llano!!
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:03 PM   #46
Muddy Bud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodtrail18 View Post
I'm looking at making the switch back to land from a drilling rig also. This 28 day hitch alone I've missed Christmas, daughters bday, sons first deer, New Years, and my anniversary. The money is good but missing half of seeing my kids growing up is getting old.
Yep thereís a lot of that happening out here. Itís been two years since Iíve had a full crew. And with the added 5 day quarantine on top of a 28 day hitch makes hiring good people impossible. With BS classes on days off makes it that much easier to toss in the towel. I was thinking about buying a dump truck to drive on days off till I got enough contacts and jobs lined out to get out of here.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:58 PM   #47
LlanoHunter10
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My biggest problem is that my company is completely getting out of the Gulf of Mexico oilfield. I worked 28/28 for 10 years with no problems. One particular service boat company in Louisiana is underbidding everyone and we couldn't compete. We are currently offshore Suriname and I MIGHT be home in March...maybe. I started my hitch with a 1 week quarantine on December 28. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that i have a job, but i think its time for something closer to home with a more reliable schedule so i can be with my wife and upcoming children.
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:05 PM   #48
Buckhorn
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I remember the refineries.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:13 PM   #49
NewTexian
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I have been an operator for 6 years now in a chemical plant making CO and H2. I am a console operator and now a shift supervisor. I would not trade it for the world but shift work does suck. With you working offshore it should not be a problem. You get to go home at the end of 12 hours here.
One of my shift mates worked as a driller offshore for 20 years and got tired of being away, he is in his late 40's and the hardest worker I have ever seen. I have to force the guy to take breaks. You should have no problem moving into the refinery or plant work.
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