Directional Driller | Roles, Courses, Salary & Jobs

Table of Contents

A directional driller is responsible for operating the required equipment & tools on the oil and gas rigs to follow the directional plan that was previously set and designed by the engineering department. He also coordinates with other rig crew members and senior toolpushers to execute the drilling process efficiently. Before moving ahead, we think you might be interested in life on an oil rig.

Directional Driller
Directional Driller

This article integrates the directional driller duties, skills, qualifications, books, courses, demanding companies & salary options. Moreover, it also makes one understand the functional roles of directional driller to strengthen the job resume. Let’s get into this.

Directional Driller Duties and Responsibilities

In the oilfield industry, he uses technical machinery and tools to bore the well in multiple directions. The main objective of a directional driller is to explore petroleum products from different sources. Also, he collaborates in various rig operations to maximize productivity. His primary duties are discussed in the following.

  • Controls the wellbore direction with the help of Bottom hole assembly BHA tools. Also, he monitors the performance of various drilling activities using surface sensors.
  • Operates the inventory and coordinates with other rig crew members at the drilling rig site. Moreover, he closely works with MWD professionals in data collection to keep the project on track.
  • Manages the necessary directional drilling equipment and oversees the well location activities. Also, he provides measuring equipment for smooth drilling operations.
  • Ensures the availability of technical tools at the well site according to the job requirements. Also, he manages the bit selection, mud motors, drill pipes, etc.
  • Manages the direction of the drilling pathway (well trajectory) and performs surveys to analyze the depth of the operations (Magnetic Single shotMulti shotGyro Tool).
  • Plans the directional drilling action plans and implements them in the workplace. Also, he ensures that the tasks comply with the company’s goals.
  • Assists the company employees and representatives in resolving issues. Likewise, he administrates the well operations to record the data.
  • Prepare the documents and report the drilling project progress to the higher authorities.
  • Participates in executing and recording the survey information. Also, he maintains efficiency in drilling processes.
  • Ensures a safer working environment during the drilling procedures. Also, he ensures that every rig crew member wears personal protective equipment (PPE) while working on the rig.
  • Manages promotional activities to boost the company’s gains. Similarly, he assists in training the workers to improve their performance levels.
  • Perform the drilling duties as assigned by the senior drillers, rig supervisors, and managers.
  • Schedule the workflows of all the drilling procedures. Also, Inspect the drilling operations and maintain well integrity.
  • Examine the hole penetration with the help of special equipment like laser machinery, depth analyzer, etc.
  • Monitor the mud pumps and fluid levels during wellbore operations. Moreover, he participates in the company’s meetings.
  • Ensures that all the activities comply with directional drilling companiesHSE policies.

Knowledge of Directional Drilling tools

As a professional, he must be aware of the proper functioning of the drilling tools and equipment. So, if you want to nail this job position, you must have a proper understanding of the following items.

  • Must be aware of the proper functioning of different components of Bottom hole assembly (BHA). The main components include drill pipe, drill collar, reamers, stabilizers, bit, and more.
  • Have proper knowledge of surface sensors to record the drilling data. Some commonly used data sensors are depth-tracking sensors, pressure tracking, pit monitoring sensors, etc.
  • Understand the working of mud pumps, mud motors, drill pipes, and other equipment used in directional drilling.
  • Must know how to use cranes or rig components to operate drill string during operations.
  • Must be agile enough to do complex tasks as directed by the supervisors.
  • Have proper knowledge of personal protective equipment to maintain a safer working environment—for instance, overalls, safety glasses, safety helmets, respiratory gear, safety shoes, etc.
  • Be aware of alternatives in case of any issue in the performance of drilling activities.
  • Understand the essential tools to maintain the well integrity. It includes casing patches, bridge plugs, test packers, etc. Also, be aware of the management software systems to manage well operations.
  • Also, be aware of the technical equipment such as measuring devices, whipstocks, jetting bits, and stabilizers.

Skills and Job Requirements

The directional driller should have the following requirements to get the dream job in the desired organization. Let’s get into this.

  • Must have physical and cognitive power to execute the directional operations efficiently.
  • Have excellent analytical and problem-solving expertise to resolve drilling operational issues.
  • As a leader in the oil rig field, he needs to have effective interpersonal communication skills to coordinate with other rig crew members.
  • Must be able to wear safety and respiratory equipment.
  • Flexible enough to work for long hours and in challenging working conditions.
  • Must have awareness about the basics of computer software to report documentation.
  • Have strong observation skills to analyze the data and information from the downhole systems.
  • Have the ability to make adjustments in case of any anomaly in the machinery.

Directional Driller Qualifications

  • A high school Diploma in drilling or a related field is essential to apply for this job position.
  • Some top-ranking organizations prefer post-secondary education.
  • If there are certifications, it makes you competent enough from other candidates.
  • Must have an experience of five years as a Directional driller is preferred.
  • Experience using wellbore tools, motors, rotary steerable systems, bottom hole assemblies, etc.

Directional Drillers Salary

So, what are the salary options for a D.D? It depends on many factors like company, skills, experience, qualifications, etc.

Directional Driller average salary
  • According to, the average rate is 21.53 dollars per hour in the United States.
  • With more digging, ZipRecruiter showcases that he can get 61,728 dollars yearly in America.
  • According to Glassdoor, a directional driller can make up to 81,913 US dollars annually in the United States of America.

Major Companies That Provide Job Vacancies

So Who is hiring a directional driller? Many companies demanding high experience D.Ds as:

  • Weatherford
  • Nabors
  • Baker Hughes
  • Schlumberger
  • Halliburton
  • Dixon Directional
  • Anadarko Petroleum
  • Chevron
  • Shell
  • Scientific Drilling
  • NESR
  • Noble Drilling
  • Signa Engineering Corp

Top Books

Have you thought about the main books you should have as a directional driller? below the most important 4 books that will open a lot of subjects for you:

  • Controlled Directional Drilling
  • Directional Drilling: Inglis, Tom
  • Directional Drilling and Deviation Control Technology
  • Fundamentals of Drilling Engineering
Inglis for directional drillers

Online Courses

We have searched the internet for the best places where you can have a course as a directional driller. We have found that the following centers provide online courses at competitive prices:

  • Directional & Horizontal Drilling Certificate From NEXT training.
  • Directional, Horizontal, and Multilateral Drilling – DHD From Petroskills.
  • Directional Courses From SPE.
  • Caroil


In short, he plays a leading role in drilling companies. He is responsible for using the machinery to drill well in many directions. Other primary functions are managing, leading, supervising, and controlling. This job description accounts for the general duties, skills, and education requirements to become a professional directional driller. Moreover, it also gives you guidance about how much you can earn on average.

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