About This Career
Directional Drillers control the direction of a wellbore with a variety of specialized bottom-hole assembly (BHA) tools and configurations designed to steer a drilling head. They monitor information transmitted from a number of downhole and surface sensors to measure the real-time performance of a drilling operation. Directional drilling is more complex than straight-hole drilling. The operator is required to take into account more factors and use specialized software to complete their tasks.
Directional Drillers work with other well services members at the well site. In particular, they coordinate closely with the Measurement While Drilling (MWD) Specialist to collect data that keeps a drilling project on track. Depending on the employer, there may be several levels identified within this occupation. Progression between levels is based on experience, performance and company need.
Education: A high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required. A strong aptitude for math is an asset. Most Directional Drillers have progressed through their careers on a drilling crew or have experience as a Measurement While Drilling Specialist or Logging While Drilling Operator. Those with MWD or LWD experience are likely to have a post-secondary diploma in engineering, science, geology, petroleum or another technical discipline.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the oil and gas services sector of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Rotary Drill Operator, Horizontal Driller
- Measurement While Drilling Coordinator
- Logging While Drilling Coordinator
- Rig Manager
- Well Planning Consultant
Long Periods of Standing
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- Mining and quarrying
- Utilities, including renewables
Oil and gas services
- High School Diploma (or equivalent)
- Standard and emergency first aid
- H2S Alive
- Class 5 licence and a clean driving record
- Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test