Rotary Driller

Operate draw works to drill oil or gas wells.
picture of Rotary Driller

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $98,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Rotary Drillers do?

Operates gasoline, diesel, electric, or steam draw works to drill oil or gas wells: Observes pressure gauge and moves throttles and levers to control speed of rotary table which rotates string of tools in borehole, and to regulate pressure of tools at bottom of borehole. Connects sections of drill pipe, using handtools and powered wrenches and tongs. Selects and changes drill bits according to nature of strata, using handtools. Pushes levers and brake pedals to control draw works which lowers and raises drill pipe and casing into and out of well. Examines operation of slush pumps to ensure circulation and consistency of mud in well. Examines drillings or core samples from bottom of well to determine nature of strata. Fishes for and recovers lost or broken bits, casing and drill pipes from well, using special tools attached to end of drill pipe or cable. Keeps record of footage drilled, location and nature of strata penetrated, and materials used. Caps well or turns valves to regulate outflow of oil from well. Repairs or replaces defective parts of machinery, using handtools. May lower and explode charge in borehole to start flow of oil from well. May specialize in drilling underwater wells from barge-mounted derricks or drilling platforms and be designated Rotary Driller, Marine Operations.

Should I be a Rotary Driller?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Oil Rig Driller, Relief Driller, Rotary Driller, Marine Operations

    How to become a Rotary Driller

    Most Rotary Drillers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gajaa&chl=no+college+%2860%25%29|certificate+%2831%25%29||bachelor%27s+%289%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,60,60
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