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Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas - 47-5012.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Set up or operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas, or remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Daylight Driller
  • Drill Operator
  • Driller
  • Drilling Rig Operator
  • Motor Man
  • Oil Rig Driller
  • Oil Well Driller
  • Relief Driller
  • Tool Pusher

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Bolt together pump and engine parts, and connect tanks and flow lines.
  • Cap wells with packers, or turn valves, to regulate outflow of oil from wells.
  • Clean and oil pulleys, blocks, and cables.
  • Connect sections of drill pipe, using hand tools and powered wrenches and tongs.
  • Count sections of drill rod to determine depths of boreholes.
  • Dig holes, set forms, and mix and pour concrete, for foundations of steel or wooden derricks.
  • Direct rig crews in drilling and other activities, such as setting up rigs and completing or servicing wells.
  • Line drilled holes with pipes, and install all necessary hardware, to prepare new wells.
  • Locate and recover lost or broken bits, casings, and drill pipes from wells, using special tools.
  • Lower and explode charges in boreholes to start flow of oil from wells.
  • Maintain and adjust machinery to ensure proper performance.
  • Maintain records of footage drilled, location and nature of strata penetrated, materials and tools used, services rendered, and time required.
  • Monitor progress of drilling operations, and select and change drill bits according to the nature of strata, using hand tools.
  • Observe pressure gauge and move throttles and levers to control the speed of rotary tables, and to regulate pressure of tools at bottoms of boreholes.
  • Plug observation wells, and restore sites.
  • Position and prepare truck-mounted derricks at drilling areas specified on field maps.
  • Push levers and brake pedals to control gasoline, diesel, electric, or steam draw works that lower and raise drill pipes and casings in and out of wells.
  • Remove core samples during drilling to determine the nature of the strata being drilled.
  • Repair or replace defective parts of machinery, such as rotary drill rigs, water trucks, air compressors, and pumps, using hand tools.
  • Start and examine operation of slush pumps to ensure circulation and consistency of drilling fluid or mud in well.
  • Train crews, and introduce procedures to make drill work more safe and effective.
  • Weigh clay, and mix with water and chemicals to make drilling mud.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Assemble products or production equipment.
  • Clean equipment or facilities.
  • Collect geological samples.
  • Dig holes or trenches.
  • Direct construction or extraction personnel.
  • Inspect equipment or tools to be used in construction or excavation.
  • Install drilling equipment.
  • Install equipment attachments or components.
  • Install plumbing or piping.
  • Maintain drilling equipment.
  • Measure materials or objects for installation or assembly.
  • Measure work site dimensions.
  • Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
  • Monitor extraction operations.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Operate detonation equipment.
  • Operate drilling equipment.
  • Operate pumps or compressors.
  • Position construction forms or molds.
  • Position construction or extraction equipment.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas.
  • Prepare excavation or extraction sites for commissioning or decommissioning.
  • Prepare explosives for detonation.
  • Record operational or environmental data.
  • Select construction equipment.
  • Train construction or extraction personnel.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Cannon Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Equipment Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Quarrying Specialist (RC) (Army - Enlisted)
  • Water Well Drilling Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Prospecting Driller (Petro)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Prospecting Driller
  • Rotary Driller
  • Rotary-Rig Engine Operator