Industrial Valve Repair Technician: Job Outlook & Career Requirements
Learn the education and training required to work as an industrial valve repair technician. Find out the employment outlook for this career, as well as some alternative career options.
Industrial valve repair techs ensure that valves open and close properly to maintain high temperatures, high pressure, and flow through piping systems used in the power, pipeline, aerospace, and automotive industries. Much of the work time is spent tearing down, repairing, and rebuilding industrial oilfield valves and equipment.
How to Become an Industrial Valve Repair Technician
Although no formal higher education is needed for industrial valve repair, apprenticeships and trade school programs are available to teach the technical side of this job. Experience is the best teacher, and workers may have years of hands-on experience with equipment, such as pipes, pressure valves, and pumps. Four years of technical field experience in pump, turbine, or valve repair is helpful.
Industrial valve repair technicians need the ability to troubleshoot and problem solve. Computer literacy and an ability to learn and understand valve diagnostics is essential, as well as the ability to occasionally travel to different job sites.
Career and Economic Outlook
The median annual salary for control and valve installers and repairers was $50,960 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects that employment opportunities in this career field will see little or no change from 2012 to 2022.
Alternative Career Options
Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operator
Those who may be more interested in monitoring and operating the machines that pump gas, instead of fixing the valves that regulate the gas flow, may be interested in working as a gas compressor or gas pumping station operator. These workers operate, monitor, and adjust controls on compressors and motors that transmit or recover many types of gases. Although there are no education requirements for these workers, months of on-the-job training may be required. According to the BLS, jobs for pumping station operators are projected to decline by 3.1% from 2012 to 2022. The median annual salary for gas compressor and pumping station operators was $51,150 in May 2012, according to the BLS.
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installer
Like industrial valve repairers, security and fire alarm systems installers diagnose and fix equipment, but security and fire alarm systems installers work with equipment designed to alert authorities and residents when a fire breaks out or when there is a security issue. Security and fire alarm systems installers also mount and wire these systems in buildings. This job requires a high school diploma and knowledge of electrical and construction practices, which can be learned on the job. Although these workers had a slightly lower median salary than valve repairers, the job outlook for alarm installers is better than average. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for security and fire alarm installers was $41,030 in May 2012, and job openings for these workers are projected to increase at a faster-than-average rate of about 15% from 2012 to 2022.
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