Type of Marine Jobs : Oil Driller

An oil driller is the person who is in-charge of drilling on an oil rig. Oil driller is one of the most necessary and basic offshore jobs.  His presence is of utmost importance and is something that can never be done without on an oilrig.

Drilling oil from ocean depths might not sound a big deal but is a one of the most dangerous jobs out there. There are several factors that influence drilling jobs in the high seas and oceanic areas. Underwater oceanic area, the marine lives, the marine ecosystem and the nature of the source of the oil-reservoir found under the surface of the water are the main aspects that are required to be monitored while underwater oil drilling is proposed to be carried out.

Oil Driller
Credits: num_skyman/depositphotos.com

Oil drillers are the ones who make sure that all these aspects are taken care of perfectly so that no accidents take place. Right from the time the oil rig is established in the middle of the ocean and sea, it becomes the oil driller’s responsibility to oversee whether the rig is working properly and all the oil and gases are being pumped out through the pipes fitted efficiently.

In addition oil drillers are also supervisors to the people who actually work under their area of expertise. It also needs to be noted that in terms of offshore jobs, it is the oil drillers who are consulted first in case any emergency situation crops up in the functioning of an oil rig. It is in such situations that the reliability and efficiency of oil drillers is tested to the maximum. This is also precisely the reason why in extreme situations like collapse of an oil rig, the oil drillers are blamed primarily rather than the other workers.

Since the job of oil drillers is very risky in terms of the area and location concerned, the pay is also high. There are actually levels or hierarchies to which an oil driller can rise on the basis of his experience and on the basis of these levels, his pay is adjusted. The four levels can be elaborated as follows:

  • Up to four years of Experience: This is the basic level of experience. Oil drillers fitting in this category receive around US $ 40,000 to 80,000.
  • Between five to nine years of Experience: The second-highest level in the pay-scale hierarchy. The professionals in this category receive an average of US $ 60,000 to $ 1, 30,000.
  • Between 10 to 19 years of Experience: The third-highest level in the pay-scale hierarchy. The average salary is around US $ 75,000 to 1, 45,000.
  • An experience level of over 2 decades: The final pay-scale category which provides the professionals an average salary of around US $ 1, 00,000 to 2, 00,000.

An oil driller’s profession is all about detailing when it comes to drilling jobs like offshore drilling. From minor to major every detail has to be checked and re-checked. This is what makes offshore drilling, as a part of offshore jobs, a very unique and alluring one. It is also that factor that makes people take up the profession very successfully across the world.

You may also like to read-Main Reasons that Lead to Oil Rig Accidents

ReferencesSociety of Petroleum engineers


  1. I am a published writer researching offshore oil workers for an anthology, 90% of which is completed and in the hands of my agent in NY.I have interviewed a petroleum engineer and an independent geologist, both of whom were most helpful in providing me with information that has afforded insights in that aspect of the work. But I have not as yet secured an interview with a “roughneck” or a “roustabout,” both of which, as I understand, are interchasngeable terms–well depending on one’s point of reference.

    I should think that these workes are responsible for the actual drilling–the hard and dangerous work for which they might not receive the attention awarded to others in the hierarchy of workers at the deepsea drill site. Hence, I wish to get that side of the story; to learn of the special pride and the courage that impels such workers to perform those tasks known as “the dirty work” of deepsea drilling rigs. If you can put me in contact with a roughneck/roustabout that might enlighten me so that I can frame a truthful characterization for my work I would be most appreciative. I can be reached at this email address most anytime as I am at work at this desk weekdays and weekends.

    Thanking you in advance and hoping to hear from you soon, I am



  2. Hello. Thanks for your response. Your comment re the significance of the driller’s responsibilities on the job is helpful and applicable to my work. However,I still need to speak to someone that can give me a candid one-on-one commentary of life on the rigs (offshore). Your response to my email address, giving me your contact info, would be very much appreciated.
    Mary Helen Lagasse

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