Types of Workers and Their Duties on an Oil Rig

Workers with more than 10 specialties can be part of the drilling team on an offshore rig. What kind of specialists are they, what are their duties, and what is the average salary? Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Oil rigs are an important aspect of the oil and gas industry because they provide the infrastructure needed to recover and process oil and gas from under the earth’s surface. A variety of people are required to conduct a number of jobs to guarantee the safe and effective functioning of an oil rig. This article will look at the many sorts of employees and their responsibilities on an oil rig.

Types of Workers and Their Duties on an Oil Rig

Safety Engineer

Oil rig safety engineers inspect and evaluate worker safety. These tests look for workplace safety devices and regulations. They may improve smoke detectors to notify rig workers of fires. To safeguard employees, they may build safer stairs and drilling equipment. Oil rig employees may be taught occupational safety by safety engineers. During this training, they may educate staff about new safety devices and procedures.

Salary: ~$95k per year.

Tooling engineer

Drilling equipment is optimized by tooling engineers. They may analyze drilling equipment designs, brainstorm improvements, provide drilling crews changes, install new equipment, provide technical help before to and after installation, maintain tool operation, and provide drilling teams with particular design documents. Tooling engineers may utilize computer-assisted drafting software to create new drilling equipment and rigs, depending on their job.

Salary: ~$87k per year.

Drilling engineer

Drilling engineers supervise difficult drilling procedures. They investigate drilling sites, assess their suitability, oversee equipment installation, coordinate contractor activities, choose gig-specific drilling equipment, and manage drilling throughout the process. They examine drilling designs and provide suggestions for improvements. This increases drilling efficiency, safety, and cost effectiveness.

Salary: $79k per year.

Rig manager

Rig managers are in charge of oil drilling operations and a variety of rig factors. They set up rigs, organize rig personnel, monitor daily drilling activities, ensure all operations comply with state and federal regulations, inspect crew members, evaluate rig performance, prepare rigs for breakdown, plan work schedules, and hold critical safety meetings. Managers may also investigate occurrences, provide daily work briefings, hire new employees, and train them.

Salary: $75k per year.


Motormen on ocean-bound oil rigs have many tasks. They repair and maintain the engine room, clean and paint the rig, assess deck loads, calculate safe load weights, order new rig equipment, oversee new staff, lubricate and fuel equipment, provide general engine maintenance, and ensure the rig’s engine operates properly. A motorman may generate operational reports for the motorman on the next shift, covering operational behavior and weather changes.

Salary: $66k per year.


Derrickhands on oil rigs are responsible for a variety of critical tasks. They help drillers maintain well operation, instruct new drill team members, unload critical drilling materials, drive hauling equipment, connect rig machinery, oil motor components, and ensure all motors run properly. Pipes may be carried over rigs by derrickhands.

Salary: $65k per year.


Oil rig chefs provide meals and beverages for the personnel. They brew coffee and other hot drinks, clean the kitchen, maintain kitchen equipment, wash dishes, design daily meal plans, order new food, and monitor food safety. Every day, assistant or night-shift cooks assist chefs in the preparation of food.

Salary: $62k per year.


Floorhands on oil rigs install and maintain oil rig equipment. They gather tools, sort pipes, transport heavy equipment, adhere to particular assembly instructions, operate piping on the job, lay down tubing, install new casing, and disassemble equipment after a performance.

Salary: $62k per year.


Oil rig drillers are responsible for a variety of jobs. During their shifts, they may add and remove drill rods and augers, clean drill rigs, transport drilling equipment, do pre-start checks, execute regular rig maintenance, follow drill operator rules, monitor drilling progress, assess success after completion, and control the drill. Drillers may also operate and repair drilling equipment, including the replacement of oil and gas.

Salary: $60k per year.

Drill operator

Drill operators are responsible for the planning and operation of drilling equipment. They may measure drilling spots, calculate potential oil output, evaluate current drilling operations, maintain oil equipment between drilling operations, transport drill equipment, set up each day’s drill, monitor the process, adjust steps, regulate tool pressure, and stop drilling once enough oil has been found. The drill may be conducted by operators or assistants.

Salary: $60k per year.

Crew chief

An oil rig crew chief is in charge of a team’s shifts. Weekend crew leaders may operate with weekend specialists to maintain and repair rigs. Dayshift crew chiefs may manage rig operations throughout the day and work with nightshift chiefs to fulfill all responsibilities. Schedule shifts, assess workers, collect drilling data, write reports for rig owners and managers, inspect rig equipment, and help staff complete shift responsibilities.

Salary: $59k per year.

Oil rig mechanic

Oil rig specialists repair rig equipment and vehicles. A pump mechanic may improve operations by installing a new pump, dealing with common pump problems, lubricating pump components to decrease friction heat, maintaining pump equipment, and installing new equipment as needed. Specialization is possible for oil rig vehicle mechanics. They may be responsible for repairing oil-hauling vehicles, inspecting rig helicopters before to flight, repairing rig elevators, and changing fluids.

Salary: $59k per year.

Pump technician

Pump experts keep an eye on pump operations and safety. They are responsible for the upkeep of hot and cold water systems, expansion tanks, heat exchangers, steam equipment, throttling valves, and pump gauges. Cooled drilling systems may improve water flow to minimize drill wear. Pump employees may boost efficiency by monitoring pump performance and reporting faults. They may be in charge of pump valves that evenly fill storage tanks with crude oil.

Salary: $48k per year.


Pumpers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of oil pumps. Repairing leaks and monitoring the flow of oil into storage tanks increases transportation efficiency. Pumpers change speeds to accommodate supply schedules and save pump wear. They may also be responsible for oil meter and gauge maintenance, pipe unloading and assembly, connecting pumps and hoses to wellheads, ensuring wellhead safety, and monitoring pump health. Pump engines are sometimes replaced with pumpers.

Salary: $47k per year.


The good news is that even the entry-level occupations in the oil business that require the greatest physical exertion may nevertheless provide a satisfactory wage. The hourly compensation of a roughneck may vary anywhere from $18 to $29, depending on factors such as their level of expertise and the company for which they work. Assuming that a worker puts in 40 hours per week, the average yearly remuneration is much more than $45,000.

On an oil rig, the workers are divided up into drilling teams, and each drilling crew has a specific task that it is responsible for doing. In most cases, the rigs are in operation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with three or four independent crews working shifts of either eight or twelve hours each. The typical work schedule consists of either eight hours on the job followed by eight hours off or twelve hours on the job followed by twelve hours off. It makes no difference whether the rig is on land or in the water; the result is the same.

When members of a team effectively communicate with one another and collaborate to find solutions to issues, drilling operations tend to have the highest rate of success. It may be difficult to maintain composure when the temperature is very high, when the temperature drops to 30 degrees below zero, or when there is severe weather off the coast.