Derrick Operator

Derrick operators who are sometimes called "derrick hands" or "drill rig operators" make sure their equipment is well-maintained and in working order. They clean and lubricate all moving parts before derricks are raised or lowered. Derrick operators must be able to troubleshoot when they encounter mechanical problems and they must know how to make routine repairs on pumps and related equipment when necessary.

In addition they are usually responsible for completing inspection reports on the equipment. Derrick operators are employed by companies in the oil and gas extraction mining construction and shipping industries. Some work for the U.S. government on jobs such as building power plants bridges and dams.

The website says that derrick operators must have good mechanical skills in order to control the operation of the equipment which requires them to look at gauges and dials while aligning the equipment properly. Operating derricks calls for good eye-hand coordination considerable muscle strength and the physical capability of bending and twisting continually. 

The website says that derrick operators must be at least 18 years of age have a high school diploma and often they are required to have a commercial driver's license. They must be mechanically inclined and have good math and spatial skills and being able to communicate and work on teams is also essential.

Most employers provide on-the-job training but there are crane operator schools that sponsor training programs and there are apprenticeship opportunities that the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) offers for prospective derrick operators to get training in how to operate heavy equipment. Some employers require derrick operators to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( oil and gas derrick operators earn a median salary of approximately $42000.

Education Required: High School Diploma and Specialized Training
Avg Salary: $42000
High Salary: $44000
Low Salary: $40000
Tasks: Maintains drilling equipment.
Prepares and operates pumps.
Mixes drilling fluids.
Uses machinery to move heavy materials and equipment.
Also Called: Derrick Hand
Drill Rig Operator
Crane Operator
Heavy Machine Operator
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