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Driller Job Description And Salary

...Tomiwa Oladipo Published November 2022

Who is a driller?

A driller is an oil or gas rig crew member that sets up, operates, and maintains the equipment for drilling wells in the search for oil and gas. They are also responsible for reviewing and analyzing drilling parameters to carry out the drilling procedures safely and successfully.

Also, a driller supervises the following members of the drilling crew: Derrickman, Roughnecks, and Roustabouts.


What does a driller do?

A driller ensures tasks' timely and high-quality performance and compliance with performance and labor discipline. They are also responsible for maintaining order and compliance with fire safety rules and labor safety measures at the worksite.

Their other core responsibilities include the following:

  • Preparing mining sites before drilling
  • Moving, assembling, and operating drilling rigs and machinery
  • Performing maintenance, repairs, and cleaning of drilling equipment
  • Conducting the technological process of drilling wells for thermal, oil, gas, iodine-bromine waters, and other minerals by deep drilling installations and other related work following the technical and geological order, technical maps, the regime, and technical regulations.
  • Hoisting and lifting operations using automatic mechanisms
  • Executing oriented drilling works
  • Managing the preparation, weighing, and chemical treatment of drilling fluids
  • Monitoring compliance with the drilling mud parameters and the operation of the mud cleaning systems during drilling
  • Using blowout preventers in case of emergency
  • Well control in case of gas-oil-water kicks
  • Prevents complications and accidents during well drilling
  • Prepares well for geophysical surveys and implementation
  • Inspects the instrumentation operation, automatic devices, safety devices, and the condition of blowout equipment
  • Prepares the well for running formation testing equipment and participates in the formation testing
  • Preparing wells and equipment for running casing pipes
  • Manages casing pipe laying down, gauging, and casing running into the well
  • Performs primary and stage cementing of casing strings, testing strings for tightness, and installing cement plugs.
  • Testing of exploration wells and the development of production wells
  • Completes final work on the well
  • Maintains primary documentation of the drilling mode and parameters of the drilling fluid
  • Prepares drilling equipment for transportation between locations
  • Participates in the preventive maintenance of drilling equipment, dismantling, installation, and transportation of the drilling rig

If you need further assistance with becoming a Driller, we’re glad to help. Whether you’re looking for available Driller jobs that match your skillset or clarifications on the roles and responsibilities listed above, our friendly team at Manup can help point you in the right direction.


What Skills and Education Do You Need?

Usually, you don’t need a formal education to become a driller. However, you need to enroll for a traineeship in drilling operations (level 2 or level 4) or Driller (level 3). The traineeships usually take 12 to 24 months to complete.


Other Job Skills and Requirements

Driller job description often requires the knowledge of the following items:

  • Current rules and instructions on the techniques, technology, and organization of production
  • The regime and technical map and the geological and technical outfit
  • Basic knowledge of the geology of deposits and the technology required for oil, gas, thermal, iodine-bromine water, and other minerals extraction
  • Design, purpose, and technical characteristics of power and drilling equipment, automatic systems, safety devices, and air defense systems
  • Information on the well design and the geological section of the drilled area
  • Modes of drilling operations in offshore conditions
  • Installation of electric drills and turbodrills
  • Standard sizes and principles of rational use of the bits used
  • Permissible loads on the equipment used
  • Dimensions, type, thread markings, and strength characteristics of the drill pipes, casing, and tubing
  • Design, purpose, and use of fishing tools
  • Consumption rates of the materials used
  • Piping diagrams and design of sealing devices
  • Appointment and arrangement of formation testers, packers of various designs
  • Causes of accidents and complications during well-drilling measures to prevent and eliminate them
  • Ways to eliminate possible malfunctions of the turbodrill, current lead, and electric drill
  • How to control parameters and reduce the consumption of chemical reagents and weighting agents
  • Physicochemical properties of drilling fluids
  • Chemical reagents for the treatment and preparation of drilling fluid, and methods for its preparation, recovery, and reuse
  • Requirements for well preparation for casing running and cementing
  • Protection of the productive horizon from pollution during the drilling and cementing of strings
  • Arrangement and use of ground equipment for flowing and pumping wells
  • Surface and underwater equipment, underwater working conditions, and measures to take in the event of storms
  • Special safety rules when working in fields containing hydrogen sulfide
  • Rules for rejection of working tools, used instrumentation, and safety devices


Other skills:

  • Good communication skills
  • Stamina
  • Agility and a good head for heights
  • An awareness of health and safety issues at all times
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Good practical skills
  • Strong sense of responsibility


What certifications do I need to become a driller?

Required certifications may vary, depending on the location and company you want to work with. You’ll need at least one of these two main well controls certifications:

  • Valid International Well Control Forum (IWCF) Well Control Certificate
  • International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) certificate


But for offshore rigs, the following certifications are essential:

  • High school diploma or General Educational Development Test (GED) certificate (minimum)
  • Offshore survival course certification, such as the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Certificate (BOSIET)
  • Necessary Medical certificates
  • Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) certificates
  • Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)



How do I become a driller?

You don’t need any advanced qualifications to become a Driller.

Usually, drillers start on the rig floor and rise through the following roles: Roughneck (Floorhand), Roustabout, Derrickman, Assistant Driller, and with enough relevant experience, become a driller.

However, you must be at least 18 years of age to work offshore.


How long does it take to become a driller?

You need to enroll for a traineeship in drilling operations (level 2 or level 4) or Driller (level 3). The traineeships usually take 12 to 24 months to complete.


How much does a driller make?

The average yearly salary range for oil and gas driller in the United States is approximately $ 61,840, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary of a Driller may vary depending on the location, years of experience, company, and level of education.


Who does a driller answer to?

A driller reports directly to the ToolPusher.


Who works under their command?

A driller supervises the following members of the drilling crew: Derrickman, Roughnecks, and Roustabouts.


Driller Jobs Near Me

For more information on becoming a Driller or assistance finding Driller jobs, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team. We're happy to chat with you about how our global energy talent marketplace can help connect you with oil and gas companies looking for hire.

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