Gas controllers, also called gas plant operators and gas system operators, process or distribute gas by controlling specified pressures on main pipelines, explains O*Net Online. They monitor and regulate the functioning of all equipment involved and make adjustments when necessary. Gas controller salaries vary significantly by location, but not very much by type of employer.
The average salary for gas controllers as of May 2009 was $26.61 per hour, or $55,350 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gas controllers in the middle 50 percent of the earnings scale were making $45,600 to $64,170 per year. The bottom 10 percent had annual salaries of $35,390 and below, and the top 10 percent were earning $76,430 and higher per year.
Types of Employment
Pay rates for gas controllers do not vary a great deal by type of employer. Most work in natural gas distribution, earning $27.28 per hour, or $56,740 per year as of 2009. Those working in natural gas pipeline transportation, oil and gas extraction and in basic chemical manufacturing earn about $53,400 to $54,700 per year. The highest-paying type of employment for gas controllers is in electric power generation, transmission and distribution at $57,270 per year.
Gas controller salaries do vary a great deal by location. California is the highest-paying state for these workers, where they were making an average of $33.75 per hour, or $70,190 per year in 2009. The East Coast is another high-paying region. Gas controllers in Massachusetts had average pay of $69,750 per year in 2009, in New York $66,320, in New Jersey $59,350 and in Maryland $59,150. Gas controllers in the metropolitan area of Wilmington, Del., had an average annual salary of $67,600, and in the New York City area, $69,630.
States with the highest number of gas controllers per capita do not have the highest pay rates, but since they employ large numbers of these workers, more job opportunities may be available. The state of Texas, for instance, had 2,730 gas controllers working in 2009, about three times more than California or New York, and four times more than Massachusetts. In Texas, these individuals earn $52,520 on average per year. Pennsylvania also has a high number of gas controllers per capita, with 1,190 in 2009, and an average pay rate of $47,720. Other states with high numbers of gas controllers per capita include Wyoming, with an average annual salary of $49,820, Oklahoma at $50,440 and Louisiana at $54,170.