What Do Oil and Gas Drill Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Oil and Gas Drill Operators 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. They also train crews, and introduce procedures to make drill work more safe and effective.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.

We asked Oil and Gas Drill Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

93%

How meaningful is this job

80%


93% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 80% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Oil and Gas Drill Operators clean and oil pulleys, blocks, and cables. They 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.

A typical day for an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator will also include:

  • 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.
  • Maintain records of footage drilled, location and nature of strata penetrated, materials and tools used, services rendered, and time required.
  • Connect sections of drill pipe, using hand tools and powered wrenches and tongs.
  • Maintain and adjust machinery to ensure proper performance.
  • Weigh clay, and mix with water and chemicals to make drilling mud.

We asked some Oil and Gas Drill Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?27% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?86% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?94% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?24% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?16% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?65% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Oil and Gas Drill Operators also position and prepare truck-mounted derricks at drilling areas specified on field maps. They may also line drilled holes with pipes, and install all necessary hardware, to prepare new wells.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Oil and Gas Drill Operators Repair or replace defective parts of machinery, such as rotary drill rigs, water trucks, air compressors, and pumps, using hand tools. They might also Cap wells with packers, or turn valves, to regulate outflow of oil from wells.

In addition, they Monitor progress of drilling operations, and select and change drill bits according to the nature of strata, using hand tools.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Direct rig crews in drilling and other activities, such as setting up rigs and completing or servicing wells.

To some Oil and Gas Drill Operators, it is also their responsibility to Bolt together pump and engine parts, and connect tanks and flow lines.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Oil and Gas Drill Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Never
94%


Once a year
5%


Do Oil and Gas Drill Operators work outdoors?

Every day
97%


Once a week
3%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Oil and Gas Drill Operators

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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators Job Description

Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators job description, what do Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators do, typical day for Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators, what is it like to work as an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator, how many hours do Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators work, day to day work of an Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2013/spring/art02.pdf


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