Find Trade Colleges

Study Area & Zipcode

Oil and Gas Derrick Operator

Find Schools Near

Life As an Oil and Gas Derrick Operator

Job Description: Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill hole.

List of Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Job Duties

  • String cables through pulleys and blocks.
  • Prepare mud reports, and instruct crews about the handling of any chemical additives.
  • Repair pumps, mud tanks, and related equipment.
  • Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, prior to being raised or lowered.
  • Steady pipes during connection to or disconnection from drill or casing strings.
  • Guide lengths of pipe into and out of elevators.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator?

Oil and Gas Derrick Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Other Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Job Titles

  • Oil Derrick Operator
  • Well Service Derrick Worker
  • Floor Hand
  • Rotary Derrick Operator
  • Derrick Man

What Kind of Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 11,100 jobs for Oil and Gas Derrick Operator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 25.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,800 new jobs for Oil and Gas Derrick Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,800 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Oil & Gas Derrick Operator are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Florida. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Oil and Gas Derrick Operators Salary

Oil and Gas Derrick Operators make between $33,290 and $64,960 a year.


Oil and Gas Derrick Operators who work in North Dakota, Wyoming, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Oil and Gas Derrick Operators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $55,960
Arkansas $40,680
California $52,300
Colorado $51,390
Kansas $43,330
Louisiana $47,550
Michigan $43,130
Mississippi $46,590
Montana $49,950
New Mexico $48,310
North Dakota $59,550
Oklahoma $48,470
Pennsylvania $50,540
Texas $44,920
Utah $45,860
Wyoming $55,040

Tools & Technologies Used by Oil and Gas Derrick Operators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Oil and Gas Derrick Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Data entry software

How to Become an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator

Learn what Oil and Gas Derrick Operator education requirements there are.


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Oil and Gas Derrick Operators Work?


Below are examples of industries where Oil and Gas Derrick Operators work:



Image Credit: Tomwsulcer via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Trade Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited trade schools across the U.S.