What Is The Job Of A Toolpusher In The Oilfield?

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Have you ever wondered what a job on an oil rig is like? One of the most important jobs  in the oilfield is that of the toolpusher. Here is some information, based on my work experience in the field of oil and gas drilling, that might help you get a job as a toolpusher on a drilling rig.

Job Duties Of A Toolpusher on A Drilling Rig

First off, let’s take a look at what a toolpusher does.  His job is one of the key positions on a drilling rig. He (or occasionally she) is the one that keeps things running smoothly. While the oil company representative or “company man” is responsible for the well being drilled, the toolpusher is responsible for all of the equipment and many of the workers making it possible. They are in charge of the entire drilling rig and physical equipment owned or leased by it.  All of the roughnecks, roustabouts, drillers, etc., usually answer to the toolpusher as the lead person on location that is in charge of the drilling crew and rig.  Many larger rigs have both a day and night toolpusher, while smaller ones may have only one person who works long, odd hours. The duties of a toolpusher on a rig might include everything from ordering parts for rig mud pumps, the rig, overseeing safety meetings and keeping up with worker’s time sheets, hiring and firing roughnecks and roustabouts, working with the oil company representative or “company man” to achieve the drilling objectives and much more. When there are problems on the rig they may work extremely long hours with no sleep until things are running smoothly again.

One of the most common paths to get a job as a toolpusher on a drilling rig is to get promoted from the driller position.  Most of the time those in the job began working as a roughneck or roustabout and then climbed  the oilfield ladder over a period of several years to driller, etc. It’s not uncommon for a rig’s toolpusher to have done almost all of the tasks that he asks others under him to do. Many have worked their way up to driller, then crossed over.

Drilling rigs jobs such as toolpusher require a person to be mechanically inclined. If you are still in school, take courses in math and science. In the old days many drilling companies hired uneducated workers without a high school degree or GED. That is all changing. With modern drilling rigs becoming increasingly complex and computerized, oil drilling companies need intelligent workers.  Also, all new employees are drug tested, along with random drug tests administered on the rig location from time to time.

To Become A Toolpusher Be The Hardest Worker

One of the keys to getting a job as a toolpusher or any other oil rig job is to be dependable, hard working and willing to do any job that is asked of you. This may mean spending several months as a “worm”, working your way up to higher paying jobs while you learn everything from tripping pipe, making connections, digging ditches and cleaning out mud pits.  Volunteer to learn new jobs, rather than just waiting to be told what to do. This is one way to be seen as a potential leader and not just a regular employee. Over the years I’ve worked around lots of toolpushers in the oilfield and one of the most common traits that they all have is that they are able to take charge of a bad situation and turn it around by inspiring trust and confidence in other workers.  To do this requires gaining experience over time and continuing to learn and grow as an employee.

To get a job as a toolpusher you should pack your traveling bags since it’s unlikely that an oil well is about to be drilled in your hometown. Oil drilling jobs occur from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of tropical regions. You may be required to spend weeks or months away from home in an oilfield job.

In return for your sacrifices you will be part of a highly paid group of people that do one of the toughest jobs on earth.

To find  toolpusher job listings or other oil exploration jobs see sites such as Rigzone.com, Monster.com and  Texasoilfieldjob.com

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