What are the Different Drilling Jobs?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 February 2020
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Drilling is an essential task to reach natural resources underground. Expert workers drill for water, ore, oil, natural gas, and several different kinds of minerals, including diamonds. Professionals usually drill on land, though offshore oil deposits require specialized skills and tools to complete difficult jobs. There are many different types of drilling jobs, including mechanics and laborers, technicians, rig supervisors, drilling engineers, and geologists. Most drilling jobs can be found in government organizations and private, contracted companies.

The majority of all drilling jobs are held by laborers and mechanics, people who manually operate and maintain rigs and other equipment on a job site. These professionals are responsible for taking careful measurements, clearing a site, moving drills into place, and operating heavy machinery. Workers are frequently required to utilize welders, torches, and cement mixers to construct wells. Skilled mechanics are essential when huge drill bits break or stop working, which is fairly often. Most employers require mechanics and laborers to obtain high school diplomas and complete on-the-job apprenticeships to learn the trade, though some individuals receive additional training through vocational school programs.


Depending on the employer and the nature of a job, a drill technician might be required to perform many of the same tasks as laborers and mechanics, in addition to important clerical duties. A drill technician usually splits his or her time between a job site and an office, recording expenses and analyzing a team's progress. He or she might be required to submit invoices to the appropriate government agencies or companies, request additional funds, record the quantity and quality of the resource that has been acquired through drilling, and write completion reports to summarize jobs. Most technicians hold high school diplomas, associate degrees, or bachelor's degrees in business or physical science.

Rig supervisors coordinate drilling operations and manage activity on a site. They direct laborers, monitor the quality of work, and make important decisions to improve progress and efficiency. Individuals are typically required to hold bachelor's degrees in construction management or business to obtain rig supervisor drilling jobs. Offshore rig managers usually receive additional training and specialized certification.

Highly skilled engineers and geologists are essential to a successful drilling practice. Geologists conduct field research at a prospective drill site to predict the size and quality of a reserve. Based on careful calculations and research, they provide expert information on how and where to drill. Civil and mechanical engineers design drilling equipment and wells using computer-aided drafting equipment. They create blueprints, run simulated tests, and supervise the building and operation of machinery. Most engineers and geologists hold advanced degrees in their specialties and spend several years working as assistants before obtaining independent drilling jobs.


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