Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas

Set up or operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas, or remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.

Median Annual Wage: $53,160

Education: Less than high school diploma (31%); High school diploma or equivalent (29%); Some college, no degree (22%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Driller; Drill Operator; Tool Pusher; Daylight Driller; Drill Foreman; Drilling Rig Operator; Motor Man; Oil Rig Driller; Oil Well Driller; Relief Driller

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas.

More Construction and Extraction Careers

  • Observe pressure gauge and move throttles and levers to control the speed of rotary tables, and to regulate pressure of tools at bottoms of boreholes.
  • Count sections of drill rod to determine depths of boreholes.
  • Push levers and brake pedals to control gasoline, diesel, electric, or steam draw works that lower and raise drill pipes and casings in and out of wells.
  • Connect sections of drill pipe, using hand tools and powered wrenches and tongs.
  • Maintain records of footage drilled, location and nature of strata penetrated, materials and tools used, services rendered, and time required.
  • Maintain and adjust machinery to ensure proper performance.
  • Locate and recover lost or broken bits, casings, and drill pipes from wells, using special tools.
  • Start and examine operation of slush pumps to ensure circulation and consistency of drilling fluid or mud in well.
  • Weigh clay, and mix with water and chemicals to make drilling mud.
  • Direct rig crews in drilling and other activities, such as setting up rigs and completing or servicing wells.
  • Monitor progress of drilling operations, and select and change drill bits according to the nature of strata, using hand tools.
  • Repair or replace defective parts of machinery, such as rotary drill rigs, water trucks, air compressors, and pumps, using hand tools.
  • Clean and oil pulleys, blocks, and cables.
  • Bolt together pump and engine parts, and connect tanks and flow lines.
  • Remove core samples during drilling to determine the nature of the strata being drilled.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas.

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas.

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