What Does a Rotary Drill Operator Do?
With oil and gasoline being such a crucial part of the daily lives of billions of people across the globe, the companies responsible for selling these substances require people to extract it from the earth. To that end, as a rotary drill operator, it is your job to safely set up and operate the massive drills that allow the removal of underground gasoline. Additionally, you might be drilling for core samples in previously unexplored areas in search of new extraction sites.
Rotary Drill Operator Skills and Abilities
The job of a rotary drill operator goes well beyond maneuvering machinery and pressing buttons and pulling levers. It requires that you have mechanical knowledge as well so that you can efficiently set up equipment and enact repairs should they be needed. The ability to read and act on any problem-indicating lights or gauges is great to have as a way of assessing issues before they become too severe. Additionally, familiarity with some advanced forms of mathematics goes a long way toward completing work in the most precise manner possible. As you gain experience on the job, the time will eventually come where some new blood steps in, requiring training. Being a well-spoken and patient instructor for these people can make you an indispensable part of the company.
Rotary Drill Operator Duties
In addition to going through the same set of processes for drill use put in place by your company, newer safety methods may also be devised over time. You must integrate this information into your crew training so that the job has as few risks as possible. As you go from site to site, you must also keep records of the tasks undertaken at each one, including details of strata penetrated, tools and materials used, footage drilled and actual labor and time spent on the job.
Rotary Drill Operator Tools and Technology
The kinds of tools used on a gas-drilling job can vary depending on factors like location and regulations. Some of the most commonly used devices are drawworks, mud mixers, casings for drills and safety belts or harnesses. You will need access to analytical and scientific computer software for certain exploration assignments as well as database, spreadsheet and word processing programs for organizing the information.
Education and Training for Rotary Drill Operators
Though many workers in this field have at least a high school diploma, one is not required. However, because of the inherent danger that comes with working with heavy machinery around a substance that is so valuable and volatile, expect to go through a fair amount of on-the-job training from a seasoned worker to ensure you know and follow all procedures.
Rotary Drill Operator Salary
As is the case with many jobs, the wages for being a rotary drill operator can range widely depending on your level of experience and the size and reputation of the hiring company. The median national wage figure for the job in the United States sits close to a respectable $53,000 while the lowest ten percent of workers make around $30,000. On the high end of the top ten percent, on the other hand, drill operators make upwards of a comfortable $93,000 per year.
Rotary Drill Operator Jobs by Geography
If you are considering the possibility of moving in order to take a drill operator position, the highest concentrations of jobs are in Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, with considerable growth expected to take place in Texas as well as states like Colorado and Kentucky. However, depending on how large of a role you want money to play in your decision, the highest annual median wages in United States are in New Jersey, Mississippi and Alaska.