Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 47-5011 Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas
Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill hole.
Education: Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
OJT: 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.
Tasks: Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, prior to being raised or lowered. Inspect derricks for flaws, and clean and oil derricks in order 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, in order 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 in order 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.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Good
Alabama Employment Outlook
Comprehensive wage data available: Alabama Occupational Wage Survey
Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
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Occupational Videos
47-5011.00 Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas