Oil and Gas Derrick Operators
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Speciality
Overview
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Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud or fluid through drill hole.
Titles for this career often contain these words
DerrickOperatorHandWorkerManDrillerDrillingMotormanFloorGasOilRotaryWellService
Education
Only 6% of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts have bachelor's degrees than 82% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Oil and gas derrick operators, with 12,200 workers, form a smaller workforce than 85% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for oil and gas derrick operators are expected to grow by 17%, and should have about 2,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Oil and gas derrick operators are more likely to be automated than 61% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for oil and gas derrick operators compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most oil and gas derrick operators earn.
$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 2% of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts -- that's a smaller percentage than 94% of other jobs.
Gender of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts, the median men's salary was Infinity% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 13% of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts are minority, and 12% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (12%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Oil and Gas Derrick Operators per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of oil and gas derrick operators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (100%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (99%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (98%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (91%)
  • Exposed to High Places (83%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (82%)
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration (69%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (55%)
  • Time Pressure (52%)
  • Consequence of Error (39%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (36%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (oil and gas derrick operators). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for oil and gas derrick operators (BLS Salary Data)
$47K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$47K$0$50K$100K$150K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts.
Distribution: Salaries for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$50K$100K$150K
Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $45K$60K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire oil and gas derrick operators.
Employers of Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts (ACS)
Private for-profit (96.4%)
Private not-for-profit (0.6%)
Local government (0.1%)
State government (0.0%)
Federal government (0.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.5%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts, which combines the 4 specialties for this career.
$56K$56K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Private for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of oil and gas derrick operators by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty oil and gas derrick operators, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$47K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$64K$56K$74K$65K$60K$54K$58K$38K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K8K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts and gender

With 2% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 94% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
Men (98%)
Women (2%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for men.

$56K$0$50K$100K$150KMen

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts than for 83% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
White (83% )
Black (7% )
Other (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Asian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$45K$48K$60K$63K$0$50K$100K$150KBlackOtherWhiteAmerican Indian
Distribution: Salaries for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts by nativity
$48K$59K$0$50K$100K$150KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 4% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 83% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
4%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$56K$0$50K$100K$150KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by oil and gas derrick operators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), oil and gas derrick operators typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Education attained by oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts? Below we see the distribution of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts salaries based on the education attained.

$52K$54K$63K$65K$80K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (17%)High School (51%)Some College (23%)Associate's/Cert. (3%)Bachelor's Degree (5%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts

What jobs will most oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators androustaboutsDriver/sales workers and truck driversFirst-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction WorkersSurface mining machine operators, earth drillers, and explosives workersCarpentersSpecialized Extraction WorkersReal estate brokers and sales agentsSurface mining machine operators and earth drillersntsAcsOcc_6320Industrial and refractory machinery mechanicsBill and Account CollectorsChemical EngineersBus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine SpecialistsSurveying and Mapping TechniciansGeneral and Operations ManagersConstruction and Building InspectorsSpecialized EngineersSpecialized Plant and System OperatorsPumping station operatorsntsAcsOcc_6940Petroleum, mining, mining safety, and geological engineersConstruction Laborers
Lateral job transitions for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 11 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts as well as 1% of respondents after working as oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most oil and gas derrick operators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as oil and gas derrick operators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Oil and Gas Derrick Operators per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where oil and gas derrick operators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all oil, gas, and mining derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators and roustabouts, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Oil and Gas Derrick Operators (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which oil and gas derrick operators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?