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How Do I Become a Field Operator?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 17, 2024
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A field operator works in the oil and gas industry, often operating equipment that is used to drill or excavate oil from wells. To become a field operator, you need to have a high school diploma or an equivalency degree. While there are no specific college degrees or academic concentrations that should be favored by an aspiring field operator, to become a field operator, you should have an aptitude for mathematics and for learning how to use new pieces of technology. In this field, experience may be more important than formal training.

To become a field operator, you first should research various certifications offered in your region. In some places, field operators are required by law to take classes in well equipment operation and safety procedures and to earn certification. You can also earn professional certification which may not be required, but which can help you to appeal to potential employers.

Regardless of your long term aspirations, you should begin with an entry level position in the oil and gas industry. Get experience operating machines at a well. Once you have mastered safe and effective practices, you should see about earning a promotion to a position with greater responsibility.

To become a field operator who takes on more responsibility or who earns higher wages, you may have to engage in continuing education. For example, if you are interested in performing some engineering work or acting as an engineering assistant at a well, you should make sure to train in power engineering and other related fields. Individuals who would like to work in management or sales might benefit from business courses where they learn leadership and communication skills.

In order to get an entry level well position, you normally must provide employers with completed applications and a few references. You should have at least two professional references and one personal reference. These requirements might vary from employer to employer. It often is most important that you have proven you can safely operate necessary equipment.

An individual who would like to become a field operator at a higher level might need to submit a resume and cover letter to an employer. A resume is a document on which you list relevant instances of professional experiences, and the skills you acquired through each experience. When you write your cover letter, make sure that you briefly and succinctly introduce yourself by describing your experience and your interest in a position. Responsibilities among field operators vary, so make sure you tailor each resume and cover letter to match each position.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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