Derrickman Occupation, Job and Career

April 17, 2023 0 Comments

Derrickman Nature of Work

The derrickman is one of the drill rig crew members who gets his name from the fact that during trips he works on a platform attached to the derrick or mast, typically 85 ft [26 m] above the drill rig floor.

On small land drilling crews, the derrickman is second in rank to the driller. Larger offshore crews may have an assistant driller between the derrickman and the driller.

In a typical trip out of the hole (TOH), the derrickman wears a special safety harness that enables him to lean out from the work platform (called the monkeyboard) to reach the drillpipe in the centre of the derrick or mast, throw a line around the pipe and pull it back into its storage location (the fingerboards) until it is time to run the pipe back into the well. In an emergency, the derrickman can quickly reach the ground by an escape line often called the Geronimo line.

His other job is to handle the mud-processing area during periods of circulation. The derrickman measures mud density and conducts the viscosity test on a regular basis. The derrickman reports to the toolpusher during periods of circulation but is instructed in detail by the mud engineer on what to add to the mud, how fast and how much.

Derrickmen are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Derrickman Work Conditions

The derrickman usually works long hours in all weather conditions on extended roster systems, usually as a member of a crew. In terms of skill, physical exertion and perceived danger, a derrickman has one of the most physically demanding jobs on the drill rig crew.

Derrickman Personal Requirements

  • able to work as part of a team
  • aptitude for mechanics and able to handle machinery
  • be 18 years old (as it is a legal requirement on most mine and quarry sites)
  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good organization skills
  • have a drug and alcohol clearance
  • pass a medical examination
  • physically fit
  • willing to work in remote areas under difficult conditions

Derrickman Employment Requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is required
  • One year of experience as a floorhand, assistant or labourer is usually required
  • Certificates in first aid, hydrogen sulphide awareness, blowout prevention, workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS), transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), cryogenic safety or in other safety concerns may be required

Derrickman Duties and Tasks

The derrickman performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Align and manipulate sections of pipe or drill stem from a platform on the rig derrick during the removal and replacement of strings of pipe, or drill stem and drill bit
  • Assist in setting up, taking down and transporting drilling and service rigs
  • Operate and maintain drilling rig diesel motors, transmissions, pumps and drilling mud systems, and mix mud chemicals, cement and additives
  • Read gauges to monitor pressure, density, rate and concentration and adjust pumping procedure as required
  • Record mudflows and volumes and take samples
  • Supervise floorhands and labourers

Derrickman Example Titles

  • Blender Operator
  • Cementer
  • Coiled Tubing Operator
  • Formation Fracturing Operator
  • Motorman/Woman
  • Pamper Operator
  • PumpMan/Woman

Derrickman Related Occupations

  • Company Man
  • Driller
  • Mechanic
  • Motorman
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Roughneck
  • Roustabout
  • Toolpusher

Oil and Gas Related Industries

  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Operations

You may search for oil and gas careers or derrickman occupations right now, but when you find one you must apply immediately for it with your current CV or resume. We recommend that you have your cover letter ready too. So, do not forget about our resume writing, CV writing and cover letter writing advice.

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