Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Oil and Gas Derrick Operator

Find Schools Near

What Does it Take to Be an Oil and Gas Derrick Operator?

Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Definition Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through drill hole.

A Day in the Life of an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator

  • Start pumps that circulate mud through drill pipes and boreholes to cool drill bits and flush out drill cuttings.
  • Listen to mud pumps and check regularly for vibration and other problems to ensure that rig pumps and drilling mud systems are working properly.
  • Inspect derricks for flaws, and clean and oil derricks to maintain proper working conditions.
  • Position and align derrick elements, using harnesses and platform climbing devices.
  • Steady pipes during connection to or disconnection from drill or casing strings.
  • Set and bolt crown blocks to posts at tops of derricks.

Things an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Oil and Gas Derrick Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

  • Driller
  • Derrick Hand
  • Floor Hand
  • Gas Derrick Operator
  • Derrick Operator

Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Employment Estimates

There were about 11,100 jobs for Oil and Gas Derrick Operator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 25.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,800 new jobs for Oil and Gas Derrick Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,800 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Oil & Gas Derrick Operator are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Florida. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Oil & Gas Derrick Operator Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Oil and Gas Derrick Operators is somewhere between $33,290 and $64,960.


Oil and Gas Derrick Operators who work in North Dakota, Wyoming, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Oil and Gas Derrick Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $55,960
Arkansas $40,680
California $52,300
Colorado $51,390
Kansas $43,330
Louisiana $47,550
Michigan $43,130
Mississippi $46,590
Montana $49,950
New Mexico $48,310
North Dakota $59,550
Oklahoma $48,470
Pennsylvania $50,540
Texas $44,920
Utah $45,860
Wyoming $55,040

What Tools & Technology do Oil and Gas Derrick Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Oil and Gas Derrick Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Data entry software

How to Become an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator

Learn what Oil and Gas Derrick Operator education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become an Oil & Gas Derrick Operator?


Where do Oil and Gas Derrick Operators Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Oil and Gas Derrick Operators employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Tomwsulcer via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.