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Rotary Drill Operators, Oil & Gas

Also called: Daylight Driller, Drill Foreman, Driller, Tool Pusher

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • Train crews, and introduce procedures to make drill work more safe and effective.
  • 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.
  • Count sections of drill rod to determine depths of boreholes.


Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
  • management
  • human resources (HR)
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


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


You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Drillingsoftware Tubular Database
  • Pason WellView Field Solution
Industrial control software
  • CAPSHER Technology SureTec
  • Drillingsoftware DrillPro
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
no high school diploma/GED or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about rotary drill operators, oil and gas.