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Rotary Drill Operator

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What is a Rotary Drill Operator?

Career Description 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.

Drill Operator Responsibilities

  • Line drilled holes with pipes, and install all necessary hardware, to prepare new wells.
  • Monitor progress of drilling operations, and select and change drill bits according to the nature of strata, using hand tools.
  • Locate and recover lost or broken bits, casings, and drill pipes from wells, using special tools.
  • Cap wells with packers, or turn valves, to regulate outflow of oil from wells.
  • Bolt together pump and engine parts, and connect tanks and flow lines.
  • Count sections of drill rod to determine depths of boreholes.

Drill Operator Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Rotary Drill Operators say are important on the job.

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

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

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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.

Other Drill Operator Job Titles

  • Back Up Worker
  • Cable Tool Operator
  • Drilling Machine Operator
  • Tool Pusher
  • Drilling Field Professional

Job Demand for Rotary Drill Operators

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 16,700 jobs in the United States for Rotary Drill Operator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 24.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,100 new jobs for Rotary Drill Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,600 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Rotary Drill Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Drill Operator are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Georgia. Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Nebraska, or Indiana. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Drill Operator Salary

The typical yearly salary for Rotary Drill Operators is somewhere between $32,110 and $87,790.

Salary Ranges for Rotary Drill Operators

Rotary Drill Operators who work in Alaska, Indiana, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rotary Drill Operators make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,450
Alaska $74,290
Arizona $48,650
Arkansas $43,870
California $66,630
Colorado $55,870
Florida $47,130
Georgia $34,310
Illinois $45,100
Indiana $67,000
Kansas $44,920
Louisiana $52,520
Maryland $56,540
Michigan $41,080
New Mexico $44,540
New York $53,120
North Dakota $66,440
Ohio $45,210
Oklahoma $57,620
Pennsylvania $54,040
Texas $56,490
Utah $56,700
Virginia $52,530
West Virginia $55,790
Wyoming $61,510

What Tools do Rotary Drill Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Rotary Drill Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word

How to Become a Drill Operator

What kind of Rotary Drill Operator requirements are there?

Drill Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Drill Operator Work Experience

Where Rotary Drill Operators Are Employed

Drill Operator Sectors

Rotary Drill Operators work in the following industries:

Drill Operator Industries

Those interested in being a Rotary Drill Operator may also be interested in:

References:

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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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