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Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas

Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud or fluid through drill hole.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, prior to being raised or lowered.
    • Inspect derricks for flaws, and clean and oil derricks 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 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 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.


    • Operations Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

    • Operation and Control

      Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Multilimb Coordination

      The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

    • Control Precision

      The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.


    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video

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    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 20
    • Yearly Projected Openings 0

    Typical Education


    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Dependability
    • Cooperation
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Concern for Others
    • Self Control
    • Attention to Detail


    • Mud mixers
    • Makeup tongs
    • Lifelines or lifeline equipment
    • Hoists
    • Drilling casings


    • Word processing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software


    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.

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