Oil Driller Jobs

Most oil rigs have either 2 or 3 crews made up of several people doing different types of jobs. Generally, the driller supervises each of the crews while he under the supervision of rig manager or toolpusher. The Driller’s responsibilities are in some ways comparable to that of a rig manager: get the work done safely, efficiently, and within the scope of government and company regulations.

Oil Platfrom Employee Photo


To be successful a driller should possess excellent organizational skills, be a good communicator and listener, be able to work quickly while keeping an eye on detail, work well with others.

In addition to supervising a crew you’ll find the Driller operating the oil rig’s drilling and hoisting equipment, managing the rig floor, driller’s console which includes brakes, monitors, throttles, clutches and many gauges. The readings and feedback obtained from the console enable the driller to make adjustments whenever necessary.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the driller’s overall responsibilities:

  • Monitor oil rig crew members to ensure they can competently perform the work and are following company policies.
  • Enforce rules about wearing proper work attire including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Hold regular safety meetings and make sure crew members are taking them seriously.
  • Conduct drills, such as blowout prevention (BOP) drills
  • Check equipment on a regular basis and record in a log.
  • Testing the crew’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of these meetings, checks and drills.
  • Orient new staff as they come on board.
  • Complete required documentation found in personnel files, for equipment checks, file permits, etc.

Again, like the rig manager, drillers may need to obtain a variety of certifications in order to do an effective job. Furthermore, having the training and certificates help enable upward mobility into higher paying jobs with more responsibilities. Some things to consider are first aid training, various types of specialized safety training (fall protection, handling hazardous materials, high angle rescues).

Salaries vary by experience and training, and are generally a set day rate plus living allowance. Rotary drill operators earn in the neighborhood of $18-28 per hour.

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