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Details for Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining


Operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. May also perform similar services in mining exploration operations.


  • Observe load variations on strain gauges, mud pumps, and motor pressure indicators; and listen to engines, rotary chains, and other equipment in order to detect faulty operations or unusual well conditions.
  • Confer with other personnel in order to gather information regarding pipe and tool sizes, and borehole conditions in wells.
  • Drive truck-mounted units to well sites.
  • Install pressure-control devices onto well heads.
  • Thread cables through pulleys in derricks and connect hydraulic lines, using hand tools.
  • Start pumps that circulate water, oil, or other fluids through wells, in order to remove sand and other materials obstructing the free flow of oil.
  • Close and seal wells no longer in use.
  • Operate controls that raise derricks and level rigs.
  • Direct drilling crews performing such activities as assembling and connecting pipe, applying weights to drill pipes, and drilling around lodged obstacles.
  • Perforate well casings or sidewalls of boreholes with explosive charges.
  • Quote prices to customers; and prepare reports of services rendered, tools used, and time required so that bills can be produced.
  • Direct lowering of specialized equipment to point of obstruction, and push switches or pull levers in order to back-off or sever pipes by chemical or explosive action.
  • Plan fishing methods and select tools for removing obstacles, such as liners, broken casing, screens, and drill pipe, from wells.
  • Analyze conditions of unserviceable wells in order to determine actions to be taken to improve well conditions.
  • Assemble and lower detection instruments into wells with obstructions.
  • Interpret instrument readings in order to ascertain the depth of obstruction.
  • Assemble and operate sound-wave generating and detecting mechanisms in order to determine well fluid levels.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Wages for this career
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