What is an Extraction Worker?

The term 'extraction worker' is extremely broad, and can refer to any professional involved in extracting resources from the ground or the sea.

Members of an oil rig crew are extraction workers, as are miners and anyone else who drills, siphons, or otherwise removes material from the ground or ocean.

What does an Extraction Worker do?

The specific tasks required of an extraction worker depend almost entirely on the type of material being extracted and the environment from which it must be removed.

An extraction worker operating a grinding machine.

Extraction workers in the mining industry design mine layouts, organize the transport of machinery into and out of the mine, conduct safety inspections and drills, monitor the volume of material extracted, and communicate with administrators and executives from the mining company headquarters.

Extraction workers in mining scenarios are often charged with keeping the other miners safe. To do that, they must understand the physics of tunnelling into the specific type of ground in question, and determine what measures will be effective safeguards against a catastrophic mine collapse.

In the United States and many other developed countries, extraction workers accomplish this using the 'long wall' strategy, which uses an enormous grinding machine to shave long, narrow strips of rock and pulverize the material, which is carried up to the entrance on a lengthy conveyor belt. Long wall mining is the safest mining strategy yet developed because it uses a series of huge hydraulic buttresses to support the tunnel roof in areas that have already been mined. These supports provide a guarantee against potentially fatal ceiling collapses.

An extraction worker on an oil rig may monitor the flow of oil, adjust the speed or position of the drilling arm, check for malfunctions throughout the rig, and document the volume of oil pumped each day.

The most extreme oil-related extraction positions call for immersion diving, which means that workers descend to the ocean floor inside a diving bell and live on the sea floor for up to one month at a time. Because their diving bell is pressurized to the same degree as the ambient pressure on the ocean floor, the divers can come and go as they please without the danger of decompression sickness. Immersion diving saves time and money; it's also less stressful on the human body than repeated cycles of compression and decompression.

Communication is a vital skill in this profession, as extraction workers are generally part of a sizeable team that must be coordinated and directed to produce optimum results as safely as possible.

Are you suited to be an extraction worker?

Extraction workers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of an Extraction Worker like?

Most extraction workers spend the bulk of their work hours outside, often in very remote and inhospitable locations such as ocean floors, oil fields, coal mines, deserts, and mountain peaks. Some of these environments may be sweltering in the summer and freezing in wintertime.

Extraction workers often work with heavy, dangerous drilling equipment such as gigantic drills and boring tools. Many extraction workers need to be able to dismantle equipment, repair it, or replace it without outside help.

Workers may also need to travel frequently, and be posted at remote job sites for months at a time. This may be of particular concern for workers with spouses and small children.

Extraction Workers are also known as:
Extraction Craft Worker Earth Driller Oil and Gas Extraction Worker