The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud or fluid through drill hole.
Sample of reported job titles:
Derrick Hand, Derrick Man, Derrick Operator, Derrick Worker, Floor Hand
Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, prior to being raised or lowered.
Inspect derricks for flaws, and clean and oil derricks to maintain proper working conditions.
Control the viscosity and weight of the drilling fluid.
Repair pumps, mud tanks, and related equipment.
Set and bolt crown blocks to posts at tops of derricks.
Listen to mud pumps and check regularly for vibration and other problems to ensure that rig pumps and drilling mud systems are working properly.
Start pumps that circulate mud through drill pipes and boreholes to cool drill bits and flush out drill cuttings.
Position and align derrick elements, using harnesses and platform climbing devices.
Supervise crew members, and provide assistance in training them.
Guide lengths of pipe into and out of elevators.
Prepare mud reports, and instruct crews about the handling of any chemical additives.
Clamp holding fixtures on ends of hoisting cables.
Weigh clay, and mix with water and chemicals to make drilling mud, using portable mixers.
String cables through pulleys and blocks.
Steady pipes during connection to or disconnection from drill or casing strings.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
Inspect equipment or tools to be used in construction or excavation.
Maintain drilling equipment.
Clean equipment or facilities.
Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
Monitor extraction operations.
Operate pumps or compressors.
Train construction or extraction personnel.
Direct construction or extraction personnel.
Position construction or extraction equipment.
Install drilling equipment.
Prepare operational reports.
Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
Measure materials or objects for installation or assembly.
Exposed to Contaminants — 99% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 99% responded “Every day.”
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 99% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 94% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 86% responded “Every day.”
Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety
Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 86% responded “Every day.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 78% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 81% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 81% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 15% responded “Important.”
Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Very close (near touching).”
Spend Time Standing — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 76% responded “Every day.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 12% responded “No results.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 21% responded “Very important.”
Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 19% responded “Less than half the time.”
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 17% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 44% responded “Every day.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Very important.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 11% responded “Limited freedom.”
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Exposed to Whole Body Vibration
Spend Time Walking and Running — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 50% responded “Very important.”
Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 13% responded “Less than half the time.”
Frequency of Conflict Situations — 25% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
Telephone — 32% responded “Never.”
Time Pressure — 30% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Under Cover — 30% responded “Never.”
Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 50% responded “Very important.”
Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
- Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
- Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
- Related Experience
- Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
- Job Zone Examples
- These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, floor sanders and finishers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
- SVP Range
- Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)
Training & Credentials
Operations 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.
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.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
Less than high school diploma required
High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
Post-secondary certificate required
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2021)
- $22.71 hourly, $47,230 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 9,000 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Much faster than average (15% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
external site and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings