There are currently an estimated 11,100 derrick operators in the United States. The derrick operator job market is expected to grow by 25.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are derrick operators?

CareerExplorer rates derrick operators with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 12,100 derrick operators. That number is based on 2,800 additional derrick operators, and the retirement of 9,300 existing derrick operators.

Are derrick operators in demand?

Demand and growth in the employment of derrick operators is projected to be significant. Competition for jobs in the field will also be strong, however, as the oil and gas industry, which employs many of these operators, continues to face challenges that may necessitate a reduction of its workforce. Increased competition, slumping oil prices, and a glut of cheap crude are among the most prominent factors affecting the oil and gas business. The fear of climate change and the concerted global effort to reduce CO2 emissions and minimize fossil fuels are presenting additional issues for the industry to navigate. Future legislation by governments may impose further regulations in relation to offshore drilling and gas extraction. Each of these factors may negatively impact job opportunities for derrick operators in the oil and gas sector. On the other hand, if the price of oil rebounds by 2020, as predicted by some experts, the industry should hire more of these operators. New positions would likely be created by some of the top employers in the business. In the United States, these include Chevron, ExxonMobil, Hess Apache, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, and Anadarko Petroleum. Internationally, some openings would likely occur with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, BP, BHP Billiton, Shell, Total, Petro-Canada, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). A considerable number of opportunities for derrick operators should occur in construction and shipping and ports operations. These industries, however, will remain sensitive to fluctuations in the manufacturing sector and the overall economy, which typically drive a surplus or shortage of workers.

What’s the supply of derrick operators?

The derrick operator industry is concentrated in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma

Derrick Operator job market by state

State Name Employed Derrick Operators
Texas 3,890
New Mexico 1,160
Oklahoma 970
North Dakota 560
California 560
Pennsylvania 340
Louisiana 290
Wyoming 230
Mississippi 150
Utah 150
Alaska 140
Colorado 130
Kansas 120
Arkansas 70
Michigan 50