An oil well driller works in the energy industry to operate heavy machinery to extract oil from the earth or (in some cases) the sea floor. Drillers often work in the field as part of a crew assigned to an oil rig. A typical rig may have multiple drilling sections, with an oil well driller taking the drill bit to certain strata below the earth's surface and returning samples. Once a sample reveals a suitable area, the driller and his or her crew begin to drill for oil extraction. During the drilling process, the oil well driller carefully monitors and adjusts the drill bit and extraction lines to ensure maximum efficiency of crude extraction and maintain safety for all crew members.
Oil well drillers must pay close attention to safety, keeping a careful eye on monitors and following all safety procedures. Sparks or signs of combustion or excessive heat coming from the rig must be dealt with immediately. If the oil well driller believes there is imminent danger of a flare up, they must immediately engage in fire safety protocols and alert crew members whose specialty is fire control.
Some mineral and energy extraction companies hire apprentice drillers with a high school diploma or equivalent, but some technical or vocational school training related to machine operation and tools may be beneficial. In many jurisdictions, a driller must also hold a license or certification, as well as keep it up to date. This is typically a manual labor-intensive job, and oil well drillers need to be in good physical shape and able to lift and move 50 to 100 pounds or more.
Oil Well Driller Tasks
Set up and operate drill to remove underground oil or core samples for testing.
Monitor, maintain, and adjust machinery for optimal performance.
Lower and raise drill pipes and casings in and out of wells.
Monitor pressure gauge and adjust throttles and levers to control the speed of rotary tables.