According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers employed at an oil refinery include refinery operators, petroleum pump system operators and gaugers. The average incomes for oil refinery workers vary by geographic area of employment; the BLS maintains salary data by state, metropolitan area and nonmetropolitan area.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for all refinery workers in the United States as of May 2010 was $59,580, and the median annual salary was $60,040. The 10th percentile of workers earned $37,580 per year, while the 90th percentile earned $81,360. Half of the refinery workers earned between $48,300 and $70,490 a year.
Pay by State
The highest-paying state for refinery workers in 2010 was Alaska, where the reported average annual salary was $88,100. Other top-paying states included California, with an average of $69,360; Tennessee at $66,660; Kentucky at $65,890; and Hawaii at $63,760. Of states that maintained statistics pertaining to oil refinery workers in 2010, Iowa reported the lowest average annual salary of $40,650.
Pay by Metropolitan Area
Of all refinery workers employed in metropolitan areas, those in Anchorage, Alaska, reported the highest average annual salary of $81,750. Workers in the Vallejo-Fairfield area of California earned an average of $76,590, workers in the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward area of California earned an average of $75,610, and those employed in the greater Memphis metropolitan area earned an average of $71,600 per year. Other top-paying metropolitan areas for oil refinery workers included the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendall area of California and the area of Louisville-Jefferson County in Kentucky and Indiana.
Pay by Nonmetropolitan Area
Of oil refinery workers employed in nonmetropolitan areas in 2010, those in the Railbelt/Southwest Alaska area received the highest average salaries of approximately $93,370 per year. Those employed in the New Iberia area of Louisiana earned an average of $71,040 per year. Other top-paying nonmetropolitan areas for oil refinery workers included eastern Utah, eastern New Mexico and southwestern Wyoming, regions in which oil refinery workers could expect to earn between $60,000 and $63,000 per year on average.