Many people have driven by an oil refinery at one time or another. Maybe you saw one near a freeway in California, Louisiana, or Texas? The average person would be hard-pressed to say that a refinery is an attractive structure with all their steel towers and tubes and pipes. Smoke and steam emissions rising high into the sky. If there's a beauty in refineries its in how they get the refining done!
As you'll learn as a member of OilJobFinder, refining oil is simply the process of heating the oil in distillation chambers to separate the many different types of hydrocarbons into their separate categories. Crude oil is raw oil pumped from the ground that is comprised of many different kinds of hydrocarbons. When these hydrocarbons are isolated based on their molecular makeup, they can then be refined into a number of products. These include gasoline, diesel, lubricating oils, kerosene, butane, methane, and many others.
A barrel of oil (42 gallons is the standard measurement) will yield 44 gallons of petroleum products because when crude oil goes through conversion, it expands and increases in volume. About half of each barrel of crude is typically refined into gasoline due to the high public demand for transportation energy.
It's a little confusing to be sure but we try to lay it out in simple terms in our Oil Refinery Jobs section.
Another nice thing about oil refineries is that they provide jobs. Large refineries employ quite a few people and you don't always need a high level of education to gain employment.
Given the complexity of the crude oil refining process it is no surprise that refineries offer a wide variety of jobs in construction, management, engineering, and administrative duties. These jobs can be broken in two groups: Engineering jobs and journeyman jobs.
Engineering refers to disciplines requiring engineering degrees in chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, materials, software, or industrial engineering. Undergraduate degrees are awarded to students after completing four years of studying engineering at an accredited university. Some countries require three years however. Some jobs may require advanced degrees, but the majority of engineering-related jobs at refineries require four-year degrees.
Journeyman disciplines are construction-related, typically non-college degree jobs that involve a path of experience beginning with an apprentice who is a trainee all the way to a site supervisor who oversees the entire construction project. Journeymen are typically contractors hired by construction companies who are in turn contracted by the refineries to do a wide variety of construction-related projects such as repair work and major turnarounds. The hierarchy of the journeyman is typically as follows:
Oil Refinery Apprentice Jobs - Trainee who works to become a certified or accomplished worker by training either in classrooms and/or on-site with experienced journeymen. Apprentices are usually paid and agreed to fraction of what a journeyman gets that can range from 20 percent to as high as 60 percent.
Oil Journeyman Jobs - A journeyman is a worker who has complete training and/or certification in a particular field and is regarded as qualified and experienced.
Oil Refinery Foreman Jobs - Foremen are journeymen generally promoted to their position by proving themselves to be exceptional leaders. Foremen are tasked with scheduling and directing projects, filling out timesheets, and making sure the workers get paid.
Refinery General Foreman Jobs - General foremen are typically foremen with years of experience who oversee all the work of the site foremen and makes sure they have the equipment and materials they need to complete their various projects on schedule.
Oil Refinery Site Supervisor - The site supervisor oversees the entire construction project on behalf of the contracting company hired by the refinery.
When you become an OilJobFinder member you'll have full access to our list of oil refinery job descriptions, which are quite extensive and detailed. Learn about these positions specifically:
For each type of job there's a description, pay details, and educational requirements.
You won't want to miss our interview with a 28-year of the oil refining business. He points how it's possible to work abroad, discusses the annual hiring cycles, how recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast impacted refineries, and a lot more.
Learn a lot more about oil refinery jobs in our Members Section.