What do they do?

Operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. Includes fishing-tool technicians.

Also known as:

Pulling Unit Operator, Reverse Unit Operator, Rig Operator, Service Operator, Service Rig Operator, Tool Pusher, Well Service Rig Operator, Well Servicing Rig Operator, Wireline Operator, Work Over Rig Operator

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining is projected to grow 26 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 26.3%

    Change

    Ranks #7 in job growth rate
    30

    Job Openings

    Ranks #37 in net job growth

Colleges with the most graduates that become Service Unit Operators, Oil and Gas

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (1%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (6%)
  • Associate's degree  (4%)
  • Some college, no degree  (23%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (44%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (21%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Service Unit Operators, Oil and Gas

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Operations Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Inspect equipment or tools to be used in construction or excavation.
  • Maintain extraction or excavation equipment.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Monitor extraction operations.
  • Prepare operational reports.
  • Install plumbing or piping.
  • Direct construction or extraction personnel.
  • Communicate with other construction or extraction personnel to discuss project details.
  • Operate pumps or compressors.
  • Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
  • Measure work site dimensions.
  • Select construction equipment.
  • Apply new technologies to improve work processes.
  • Operate detonation equipment.
  • Prepare excavation or extraction sites for commissioning or decommissioning.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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