Wireline Operator

Take charge of large cables to help maintain and repair oil wells.
picture of Wireline Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$27,000 – $65,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Wireline Operators do?

A Wireline Operator works in the oil and gas industry, spending days outside, usually in harsh or desolate places. The job of Wireline Operator takes the phrase “wide open spaces” to a whole new level. As a Wireline Operator, you travel from job site to job site, driving a company truck to bring a wireline to different places. Working with Engineers, Rig Operators, and other Oilfield Technicians, you pretty much do exactly what your job title says: You operate the wireline.

So what exactly is a wireline? It’s a cable attached to a truck or drilling platform that lowers into oil wells or natural gas reservoirs. On the cable, tools are attached, which are used for fixing the rig, replacing parts, or measuring the depth of the hole or the amount of oil or gas.

In this job, you do things like attaching the necessary tools, running the rig up and down, and fixing broken parts. You keep the pipes free from debris and pumping gas or oil, seal off wells that are no longer in use, and, in general, monitor the workings of the well. It’s up to you to keep an eye (and ear) out for unusual sights (and sounds) that can indicate worn or broken parts down in the well.

As you can imagine, safety is a huge component of this job. So you should expect to spend your workdays wearing a hard hat and adhering to safety regulations.


Should I be a Wireline Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • 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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Wireline Operator

    Most Wireline Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9saaaa&chl=no+college+%2876%25%29|certificate+%2823%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,76,76
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