Profession distillation operator

Distillation operators run and oversee the oil distillation process and assist with troubleshooting. They operate distillation equipment to separate intermediate products or impurities from oil. They turn control valves and gauges to attain temperatures, material flow rate, pressure, etc. 

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional


  • Chemistry

    The composition, structure, and properties of substances and the processes and transformations that they undergo; the uses of different chemicals and their interactions, production techniques, risk factors, and disposal methods.


  • Maintain distillation equipment

    Maintain and repair equipment; identify and report damaged or malfunctioning equipment.

  • Set equipment controls

    Manipulate equipment controls to produce required volumes and required product quality. Take into account lab recommendations, schedules and test results.

  • Clean oil equipment

    Clean and sterilise tanks, inflow pipes and production areas; use tools such as scraper, hose and brush; handle chemical solutions.

  • Operate distillation equipment

    Operate control panels and other distillation equipment, in order to monitor and adjust product flow, pressure, temperature, etc.

  • Test oil samples

    Analyse oil samples in order to determine characteristics such as consistency, texture, viscosity or concentration. Operate measuring instruments such as pH meters, hydrometers and viscometers.

  • Calculate oil deliveries

    Make up receipts and calculate deliveries of oil and other petroleum products. Apply standard formulas to calculate test result values.

  • Transfer oil

    Prepare specific volumes of refined and unrefined materials for storage; transfer materials that require further processing.

  • Verify distillation safety

    Inspect total amount of oil in storage tanks; ensure safety of distillation activities; ensure compliance to legal regulations.

  • Measure oil tank temperatures

    Insert thermometers inside oil tanks to obtain temperature information.

  • Verify oil circulation

    Ensure that incoming and outgoing materials circulate through correct meters; ensure that meters work properly.

  • Keep task records

    Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.

  • Monitor distillation processes

    Identify and report problems or potential hazards by monitoring instruments, indicators and meters. Inspect pipelines; lubricate valves or tighten connections if necessary.

  • Use a computer

    Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.

Optional knowledge and skills

mathematics coordinate oil well operations analyse oil operations data

Common job titles

  • Chemical operator
  • Process operator
  • Production technician
  • Lab analyst
  • Entry-level manufacturing - oshkosh south campus
  • Terminal operator
  • Demonstration plant operator