Lots of Ambitious individuals have wondered whether a career path in natural gas is promising, fulfilling and rewarding.
The truth is not farfetched as a huge number of people employed in the natural gas industry attest to it being a fulfilling path as it also provides a variety of job prospects and career opportunities.
Besides, oil and coal are losing their once-dominant positions as natural gas is emerging as a more common energy source thereby offering several people a career path to follow.
As a result, in this copy, you will learn about natural gas distribution and it’s importance. You will also learn how natural gas distribution works and why it is good career path. Furthermore, you will learn about some natural gas distribution schools and jobs.
What is Natural Gas Distribution?
The term “natural gas distribution” refers to the pipelines used for distribution and the equipment used at metering and regulating stations that are run by a local distribution company and are located in a single state.
Also, Public utility commissions or autonomous municipal distribution systems are in charge of the process as a distinct operational company.
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Why is Natural Gas Important?
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning conventional fuel and the most efficient energy source, emitting less greenhouse gas than heavier hydrocarbon fuels like coal and oil. Besides, Natural gas is utilized as a raw material in numerous consumer goods, including those made of conventional plastics, to power electric power generators, heat buildings, and heat water.
- Domestic use
- Power generation
#1. Domestic use
Natural gas is a potent fuel for domestic cooking and heating that can provide heat at temperatures above 2000°F (1093°C) when distributed from a basic burner.
Hence, In a large portion of the developed world, it is delivered to houses via pipes where it is used for a variety of appliances, including natural gas stoves and ovens, clothes dryers heated by natural gas, heating/cooling, and central heating. Also, Boilers, furnaces, and water heaters may all be used for home or other building heating.
Furthermore, Compressed natural gas (CNG) is utilized for portable grills or in rural residences without access to piped-in public utility services.
#2. Power generation
Through the utilization of steam and gas turbines, natural gas is a significant source of electricity generation. Natural gas is also used by the majority of off-grid engine generators and grid peaking power facilities. Compared to other hydrocarbon fuels like coal and oil, natural gas burns cleaner and emits less carbon dioxide per unit of energy.
One popular approach is the hydrogen reformer, which uses natural gas to create hydrogen. Besides, There are several uses for hydrogen, including as a key feedstock for the chemical industry, a hydrogenating agent, a crucial input for oil refineries, and the fuel for hydrogen cars.
Compared to gasoline and diesel, compressed natural gas is a cleaner choice for vehicles. Hence, There were 9.6 million natural gas automobiles on the road as of 2008, with Pakistan leading the pack with 2.0 million, followed by Argentina (1.7 million), Brazil (1.6 million), Iran (1.0 million), and India (650,000).
The LNG and hydrogen-powered aircraft production program is now being carried out by the Russian aircraft manufacturer Tupolev. Therefore, It asserts that, at current market rates, an airplane fuelled by LNG would operate for 5,000 roubles ($218/£112) less per ton, or around 60% less expensively, with significant reductions in carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and nitrogen oxide emissions.
The Haber process, which produces ammonia for use in fertilizer manufacture, relies heavily on natural gas as a feedstock.
Others Fabrics, glass, metals, plastics, paint, and other goods are also produced using natural gas.
How Does Natural Gas Distribution Works?
The core tenet of the natural gas distribution system is the flow of gas from higher pressure to lower pressure. Hence, In pounds per square inch, pressure in a pipeline is expressed.
Besides, The natural gas leaves the well in “gathering” lines, which resemble branches on a tree and get bigger as they approach the main collection site.
One or more field compressors may be required by a gathering system to transport the gas to the pipeline or the processing facility. An apparatus that generates pressure to “push” the gas through the pipes is a compressor, which is powered by an internal combustion engine or turbine.
Therefore, The majority of the natural gas delivery system’s compressors feed themselves with a modest amount of gas from their own lines.
Besides, Some natural gas gathering systems have processing facilities that carry out tasks like filtering out contaminants like water, carbon dioxide, or sulfur that could corrode a pipeline or inert gases like helium that would lower the energy value of the gas. Small quantities of propane and butane can also be removed by processing plants.
These gases are employed in chemical feedstocks and various other processes.
The transmission system
The transmission system, which is typically made up of around 272,000 miles of high-strength steel pipe, receives natural gas from the gathering system.
The nation’s interstate highway system for cars can be compared to these substantial natural gas transmission lines. Because, They transport massive quantities of natural gas thousands of miles from the generating regions to neighborhood distribution firms (LDCs).
However, Depending on the sort of environment the pipeline is running in, the pressure of the gas in each segment of line normally ranges from 200 pounds to 1,500 pounds per square inch. Pipelines are built to handle far higher pressures than are ever actually seen in the system as a safety precaution.
As an illustration, pipelines with denser populations typically operate at less than 50% of their design pressure level.
Numerous significant interstate pipelines are “looped”—two or more lines run parallel to one another in the same right of way. In times of peak demand, this offers the most capacity.
Every 50 to 60 miles along each pipeline are compressor stations, which are there to increase the pressure lost as a result of the natural gas’s friction as it passes through the steel pipe. The machinery can be started or stopped from the central control center of a pipeline because many compressor stations are fully automated.
Shut-off valves situated throughout the transmission system can also be remotely controlled from the control room. To maximize efficiency and safety, the system’s operators continuously alter the mix of running engines based on the extensive operating data they collect from each compressor station.
It takes many days for gas from Texas to reach a utility receipt point in the Northeast due to the up to 30 mph transmission system’s capacity. The numerous connections to other pipelines and utility systems along the way provide system operators a lot of options when it comes to transferring gas.
About 200 million cubic feet of gas, or enough to run a kitchen range for more than 2,000 years, are present in a 50-mile length of a 42-inch transmission pipe that is operating at about 1,000 pounds of pressure. The “linepack” refers to the volume of gas in the pipe.
Any pipeline section can be used by a pipeline firm to store gas during times when there is less demand at the pipeline’s end by adjusting the pressure on the segment. This method of using linepack enables pipeline operators to effectively manage hourly variations in demand.
In order to predict customer demand for natural gas, natural gas pipelines and utilities utilize highly sophisticated computer models that link daily and hourly consumption trends to seasonal and environmental elements. Customers may rely on natural gas’ dependability because it is always available when needed.
A “gate station” is often where natural gas from a transmission pipeline passes before it enters a local gas utility. Gate stations are widely used by utilities to receive gas from various pipelines and places.
Hence, There are three uses for gate stations. The pressure in the line is first lowered from transmission levels (200 to 1,500 pounds) to distribution levels (between 14 and 200 pounds). The smell of natural gas, which is distinctively sour, is then added as an odorant, enabling customers to detect even minute amounts of gas.
Last but not least, the gate station measures the gas flow rate to ascertain how much is being received by the utility.
The distribution system
Natural gas is transported from the gate station into distribution lines, or “mains,” with diameters ranging from 2 inches to more than 24 inches. Each distribution system has several pressure-operated parts, with regulators in charge of the pressure.
The utility can remotely operate some regulators to modify pressures in specific system components for maximum efficiency. Generally speaking, the pipe diameter and pressure of natural gas decrease the closer it is to a client.
The central control center of the gas utility often continuously tracks flow rates and pressures at various points in its system. The gas must be delivered to each client with a sufficient flow rate and pressure to power equipment and appliances, according to the operators.
Additionally, they make sure that the pressures are kept below the system’s maximum pressure for the monitored areas. Typically, distribution lines function at less than a quarter of the pressure that was intended for them.
Regulators manage the flow of gas as it moves through the system, switching it between higher and lower pressures. A regulator will automatically open to let additional gas flow if it detects that the pressure has fallen below a preset point. In contrast, the regulator will close to adjust when pressure exceeds a preset point.
Relief valves are installed on pipelines as an added level of safety to allow gas to be vented to the atmosphere as required.
In order to make sure that every customer receives an appropriate supply of gas at or above the minimum pressure level required by their gas appliances, sophisticated computer systems are utilized to assess the delivery capacity of the network.
Using strategically placed shut-off valves, distribution mains are linked together in various grid layouts. In the event of emergencies or maintenance procedures, these valves reduce the requirement for service interruption for customers.
Moving natural gas into the home
A service line is the conduit through which natural gas travels from the main to a building or company. The maintenance and operation of the gas pipeline and related facilities up to the home gas meter is typically the responsibility of the natural gas utility. The customer is accountable for all machinery and gas supply lines located after the residential meter.
If necessary, a second pressure regulator reduces the gas’ pressure to under 14 pound before it enters a customer’s meter. Some service lines transport gas that has already been compressed to a very low pressure.
This is less than the pressure produced when a toddler blows bubbles with a straw in a glass of milk and represents the typical natural gas pressure within a home’s pipe system.
When a gas furnace or stove is turned on, the gas pressure is just a little bit higher than the air pressure, which causes the gas to pour out of the burner and ignite in the stove’s signature, clear blue flame.
Is Natural Gas Distribution a Good Career Path?
Yes, it is. You may be able to enter the market for natural gas distribution through a number of different channels.
Which path is ideal for you depends on what you are willing to do on a daily basis, how educated you are currently, and how far you are prepared to go to advance your education.
You require a bachelor’s degree or above to work in the engineering field.
Although it is not always the case, some positions could call for a master’s degree.
Some natural gas firms provide internships that can result in full-time employment upon completion of the necessary formal schooling.
If you want to undertake more hands-on learning, there are shortened college programs available. In addition, only on-the-job training is required for some professions, which don’t require formal education.
On the other hand, the best method to figure out what kind of work you could see yourself performing in the future is to look at the qualifications mentioned for each job.
Natural Gas Distribution Schools
The best natural gas distribution schools are the University at Buffalo and State University of New York. Below are some of the details.
- Coursera is the provider.
- Pricing – Free Online Course (Audit)
- Languages: English
- Available Certificate — Paid Certificate
- Workload: 16 hours of material over 4 weeks.
- Level: Beginner
- Arabic, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, English, and Spanish subtitles
- Industry related courses
- Creating, distributing, and safely using energy
You will learn about the qualities and properties of natural gas in this course, enabling you to describe the parts of the gas distribution system and recent advancements in pipeline technology.
You’ll be able to comprehend the primary causes of the development of the natural gas business and the usage of natural gas throughout history. In the end, you’ll be able to name gas and carbon monoxide safety precautions.
This course is intended for those considering a career in the energy sector (who at the very least have a high school diploma and a basic understanding of mathematics) as well as current energy sector workers with less than three years of experience who have not received similar training and would benefit from a course on basic industry concepts.
Lectures, readings, discussions, and numerous films will all be used to convey the course’s key ideas.
This second course in the Energy Production, Distribution & Safety concentration examines several aspects of the power industry and includes a concluding project that entails developing a road plan to reach a self-established, career-related energy goal.
- Exploration of natural gas – The fundamentals of natural gas are covered in this subject. We’ll trace a natural gas molecule from the source to the burner tip.
- Processing, transmission, and storage of natural gas – The supply chain for natural gas is discussed in this module. It addresses natural gas transmission and storage as well as natural gas treatment and processing.
- Distribution of liquefied natural gas and construction – Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the fundamentals of natural gas pipelines and utility are covered in this session.
- Safety and customer service – Natural gas distribution systems, including monitoring pipeline issues, customer service, and qualifications are all topics covered in this session.
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Natural Gas Distribution Jobs
Engineers, accountants, chemists, and other experts from a variety of fields are employed in the natural gas distribution industry. In the natural gas distribution sector, the highest-paying positions are:
- Gas technician
- Distribution expert
- Contractor for drilling
- The supervisor of the distribution center
- Construction supervisor
- Project accountant
- Transportation manager
- Operations manager
- Distribution manager
- Project manager
- Project engineer
- Health officer for the environment
- Construction manager
Large drilling equipment are operated by drillers, who work in the construction industry. They must be informed and follow the rules for equipment safety. Depending on the substance they are drilling into, drillers might decide which equipment to employ.
Drillers working in the natural gas sector connect pipelines to underground gas pockets. One of the highest-paying positions in natural gas distribution is drilling, which is important to the utilization of energy.
2. Gas technician
Gas technicians hold one of the positions with the highest salaries in the natural gas distribution industry. Besides, Gas technicians work with appliances, faucets, and pipes that use natural gas. They set up and maintain home and commercial machinery. They could also be in charge of making sure pipelines are connected to gas extraction plants properly.
#3. Distribution expert
To move objects Networks of transportation are combined with distribution professionals. In addition to interacting with suppliers, they operate equipment to load and unload vehicles.
In order to locate the tools and supplies required to finish a task, distribution specialists in the natural gas industry collaborate with construction teams. To a plant for gas harvesting, they can transfer machinery. In the field of natural gas distribution, it is among the highest-paying positions.
#4. Contractor for drilling
Drilling contractors are business people who focus on running drills. Since they are independent contractors rather than staff members of a large construction company The upkeep and supply of the equipment that drilling contractors own is normally their responsibility.
To find natural gas pockets, drilling contractors from the natural gas distribution network bore into the earth. They may use their tools to distribute natural gas.
#5. The supervisor of the distribution center
The professionals who oversee warehouses and distribution centers act as supervisors of distribution centers. They oversee logistics along with construction companies and utilities to ensure that the equipment used in the natural gas sector is moved at the right time to its proper location.
Supervisors of distribution centers work together with their teams to ensure that products get through their facilities and to the most appropriate individuals. It’s one of the most lucrative jobs in the field of natural gas distribution.
#6. Construction supervisor
Construction site management is done by construction supervisors. To ensure that their client’s requirements are met, they collaborate closely with construction employees.
In order to ensure that the construction is error-free and code-compliant, construction supervisors also collaborate closely with engineers and architects.
They work for the gas industry at locations where gas is harvested. They help with the creation of systems that collect it swiftly and effectively. It’s one of the highest-paying occupations in the natural gas distribution sector.
#7. Project accountant
Project accountants are financial experts that manage a project’s budget and finances while it is in operation. Together with engineers and project managers, they work to make sure that each step is finished on time and within budget.
Project accountants may conduct sporadic audits to remove any irregularities from the account. In the natural gas business, project accountants often oversee the pipeline’s financial operations.
Along with many other things, a competent accountant is essential to managing finances.
Employed in a variety of professions, designers are typically in charge of coming up with original plans and solutions. The construction and drilling teams collaborate with designers in the natural gas industry to develop delivery schedules and techniques.
They can be engaged on creating pipeline networks that transport natural gas from the source to the desired location.
By examining the production process and making suggestions for ways to improve efficiency, designers can also be helpful. One of the highest-paying positions in the distribution of natural gas is this one.
#9. Transportation manager
In order to transfer goods and commodities as effectively and efficiently as possible, transportation managers oversee a team of transportation specialists. Operators and drivers are typically included in this.
When building pipelines, the construction crew needs supplies, which are procured by transportation managers working with their teams in the natural gas industry. The transportation of workers to and from their workplace is also managed by transportation managers.
#10. Operations manager
A service or product is created by a number of teams, which are managed by operations managers. They make sure they can accomplish their development objectives in terms of deadlines and spending limits.
The managers of operations who work in the natural gas industry communicate directly with the crew building the pipeline to make sure they have the tools and materials they require. They also work along with local authorities to choose the optimal path for the waterway. In the natural gas distribution sector, it’s one of the highest-paying positions.
#11. Distribution manager
In distribution centers, teams of personnel are under the expert supervision of distribution managers. They examine and repair all items before they leave their premises to guarantee that they are of the highest caliber.
To provide the supplies needed to build pipelines and distribute gas to customers, distribution managers in the natural gas industry cooperate with construction teams.
Additionally, they establish connections with suppliers and look for goods that are reasonably priced.
#12. Project manager
Project managers oversee each stage of a project from start to finish. Together with teams from the pipeline, distribution, and utility industries, project managers involved in the distribution of natural gas design their logistics.
They also communicate with their clients frequently and tell them of their progress throughout the entire project. Hence, One of the highest paying positions in natural gas distribution is this one.
You’ll stand out in the market if you have a project management qualification.
#13. Project engineer
Engineers are in charge of the engineering and technical parts of the development process. Hence, they make an estimate of the materials required, do site investigation, and develop effective solutions.
Most project engineers prefer to work on-site rather than in an office so they can interact with their coworkers more easily.
Besides, To determine the best places to drill and the best tools to use, project engineers in the gas industry evaluate natural gas fields. In the natural gas distribution sector, it’s one of the most paid positions.
#14. Health officer for the environment
Compliance with safety and health regulations is monitored by environmental health experts. They inspect workplaces and safety facilities, which make sure that workers are not in danger as a result of unsafe practices.
Environmental health experts can determine whether a structure is safe to occupy based on their knowledge of local and federal construction codes.
#15. Construction manager
Construction managers keep their teams organized and keep an eye on the progress of their projects. Therefore, They must assign tasks and create work schedules for their employees.
Also, The best ways to operate the heavy machinery and equipment required for their projects can be taught to workers by construction managers who are experts in construction procedures.
Since, The various tools required to construct pipelines for the natural gas business are frequently used, along with drilling equipment. In the natural gas distribution sector, it is one of the most paid positions.
Natural Gas Distribution Salary
Demand for those with the ability to transport and distribute natural gas rises along with the price of the fuel. The distribution of natural gas can be a lucrative and fulfilling career path.
Depending on location and experience, salaries for careers in natural gas distribution can vary. However, $64,000 is the typical yearly wage for those in this profession. Experienced workers can anticipate annual salaries that are more in line with $80,000. Hence, this makes natural gas a promising career path.
A job in the natural gas distribution has a lot of advantages. The position is solid and gives plenty of prospects for promotion in addition to the high compensation potential. Natural gas distribution could be the appropriate option for you if you’re seeking a profession that is both financially stable and gratifying.
Natural gas distribution is a lucrative career path for any ambitious individual.
Even though there is a huge need for people in the industry, there are plenty of openings.
Despite the fact that it can be challenging at times and requires long shifts and difficult working conditions, you can be sure that a career in natural gas distribution is immensely rewarding.
Besides, Jobs there pay well and there is a high level of employment stability.
FAQs on Is Natural Gas a Good Career Path?
After being extracted, natural gas is typically delivered through pipes with a diameter ranging from 2 to 60 inches. The continental United States has more than 210 pipeline networks, totaling 490,850 kilometers (305,000 miles) of transmission pipes that deliver gas to all 48 states.
The pay for those who distribute natural gas might vary by area and level of experience. However, the average yearly salary for persons in this profession is $64,000. Besides, Workers with experience might expect annual incomes that are closer to $80,000. Hence, natural gas is a good and promising career path.
When natural gas reaches the locations where it will be consumed (often through large pipes), it flows into mains with a lower diameter and then into service lines with a smaller diameter that run straight to homes or buildings.