North Dakota Oil Field Current Job Descriptions and Postings

Bakken Wells Location 150x150 North Dakota Oil Field Current Job Descriptions and Postings

North Dakota Oil Wells

You will find several different types of oilfield jobs described below. For more information go to scroll down to “Oil Industry Job Descriptions” and click on “Drilling Rig Jobs” and “Transport Jobs.”

Go ahead and click on any of the Job Description titles and you will be taken to a list of current job postings in North Dakota for those jobs.


The following details apply to most oilfield positions:

Most positions are labor intensive and involve outdoor work in all weather conditions.

Minimum age restrictions may be 18 or 21 years old.

Drug testing is required in the hiring process and performed randomly on the job.

Depending on the position, you may need a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.

At a minimum, you will need transportation to get to and from your job site.

Significant overtime hours may be available.

Most companies will not hire individuals with a felony conviction within at least the past 5 years.

Housing may be difficult to find. Ask the potential employer if they offer housing assistance.

Be flexible in your expectations of the job schedule. You need to work the schedule that is best for the company’s needs, not your own. As you gain experience, you may be in a better position for other scheduling options, either with your current company or a new company.


Derrick Hand: The crew member who handles the upper end of the drill string as it is being hoisted out of or lowered into the hole. The derrick hand may be responsible for the circulating machinery and the conditioning of the drilling or workover fluid and is usually next in line of authority under the driller.


Driller: The employee normally in charge of a specific (tour) drilling or workover crew. The driller‟s main duty is operation of the drilling and hoisting equipment, but may also be responsible for the downhole condition of the well, operation of downhole tools, and pipe measurements. The driller is directly in charge of a particular crew.


Drilling Foreman: Person usually in charge of a number of rigs, and is sometimes the operator‟s (oil company‟s) representative.


Floor Hand: A drilling or workover rig worker, subordinate to the driller, whose primary work station is on the rig floor. Sometimes called roustabout or laborer. Floor hands typically work long, hard days (very physical). Duties may include assembling or repairing oilfield equipment using hand and power tools, assisting in slotting, welding and inserting casing screens, assisting with well development and pumping tests, carrying out minor maintenance and repairs including lubrication, cleaning equipment, drilling and camp sites, digging and cleaning mud pits and drains, helping move drilling rigs and equipment from site to site, and more.


Land Survey Field Assistant: A land survey field assistant is a member of a team that determines precise boundaries of land parcels, airspaces and water sites. Construction, transport and communications-mapping industries rely on this data which provides the legal boundaries for land ownership and political districts. A land surveyor field assistant uses telescopic and trigonometric instruments to gather measurements on, above, and below the earth’s surface that are later analyzed to determine borders.

Motorman: Employee involved in the proper maintenance and repair of the engines of the drilling rig and other motorized drilling rig equipment.


Pipe Layer: Lays 10″ irrigation pipe and does water transfer/pumping water to frac tanks.


Shop Hand: Cleans the shop and trucks, moves and operates equipment and vehicles as needed, and helps with truck and equipment maintenance.


Stabber: A rig hand who, during the running of casing or tubing, stands on the tubing board high in the derrick and guides the pipe into position so the threaded end can be set in the collar and made up by floor hands using tongs.


Swamper: Typically the helper of the more experienced person. A swamper spends a lot of time loading and unloading trucks. This person transports construction and plant equipment and materials (including pipe and living quarters for camps) on highway; moves equipment and supplies off highway; moves overweight or over dimensional loads; and dismantles, transports and assembles drilling and service rigs.


Truck Driver: Operates various types of transports, including water trucks, fuel trucks, gravel trucks, string trucks, vacuum trucks, high boys/low boys. Truck drivers are required during every stage of the construction project. Truck drivers are responsible for operating the truck in a safe and efficient manner and generally require a Class A CDL with as many endorsements as possible.


Wireline Operator/Field Engineer: Assist experienced crew members in running wireline operations in the field. Driving wireline trucks and cranes to and cleaning and maintaining the trucks and equipment. Supervise and perform wireline operations in the field as well as supervise and perform maintenance of all the trucks and equipment from well site locations.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

michael hall January 23, 2012 at

what kind of experience do i need to go up there and find a job


Jeffrey Gordon January 23, 2012 at

Hi, well that is a great question. If you could narrow down the job type you might be interested in then we could give you a lot more information.

I take it from your question you have not worked in the oil industry before? There are many thousands of job openings in North Dakota right now, for most of them
the key thing is to be here and find a place to live, jobs are quite a bit easier to find than housing right now! But, folks are showing up every day, so
if you have the will there is a way to be working up here. Come March I expect the place will be crowded with job seekers.


Rhonda Welch February 4, 2012 at

Greetings from Clarkston, WA!!!

Are you hiring help in the kitchen? Also, I have a class “B” CDL, would that be of any benefit for other positions available? Thanks for your time! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Rhonda Welch


Jeffrey Gordon February 4, 2012 at

Hi Rhonda, nice to hear from you. If you have some driving experience you should be able to put the Class b to use, and if you want to add some additional endorsements you should find a number of opportunities.
I am not doing much hiring, but there are a lot of companies hiring in North Dakota these days and food service is particularly hard hit–some fast food restaurants close their inside operations and just
run the kitchen and drive through because they can not keep full staffing. Best thing to do is take a trip out here and take a look around after filling out applications on line and letting folks know
you are here and serious about work. This is going to be a huge year here and with a very mild winter things are picking up already.



Alex February 9, 2012 at

Hi – I’m heading up to Williston next week looking for entry level engineering work. I’ve submitted some applications already but nothing’s firm yet. I’ve got a couple years work experience but not in oil. I do have an engineering degree from the U of Arizona. Do you think I’ll be able to get a job? I haven’t found anything in California or Arizona in over two years. Thanks.



Jeffrey Gordon February 9, 2012 at

Hi Alex, good for you actually heading up to North Dakota! From the folks I work with almost everyone finds a job in the Bakken up to now. I do not expect that to change unless some external force enters into the equation–i.e. Hydraulic Fracturing moratorium etc., world III. The housing situation is still the biggest challenge for anyone moving into the area. We still meet and talk to folks who pile in their old car/take the train/hitchhike etc. with their last $1,000 in their pocket and head out to Williston in the middle of winter. Thankfully this winter has been the most mild I can recall and those brave souls have survived and/or headed home. With Walmart shutting down their parking lot this week to folks in cars/rvs/campers etc. it is going to be a little more difficult to find a place to sleep.

There is lots of work up here, day labor pays okay if you can figure out a housing solution until you find a better or permanent opening. The nature of the oil business is that they are overwhelmed with candidates and it takes them some time to get folks processed and then get the initial interview scheduled–like maybe a couple of months for some folks. Then if they like you, to do the background checks, drug testing etc. takes some more time. It is not unusual for folks like yourself with professional degrees to come up here and do some meet and greet and take a look around at Western North Dakota to see if you want to live here and then return to home to await the call from prospective employers setting up an interview etc.

I have seen folks that came here in Early August, get their interview in Montana in early November and finally get notice they had the job and start work in early December. And mind you that was an entry level warehouse job. I think it is important to realize that the bigger companies take longer typically and you need to plan accordingly. It would be possible to stay in the area and find temporary work and shelter during the spring and summer and allow the process to take place in regards to the professional job you really want. Being here is very important, it always is in a boomtown–talk is cheap until you present yourself in town and it really helps to have worked out at least interim housing.

The good news is that the bigger companies are more stable and usually are prepared to offer a housing solution and or per diem adequate to allow you to eventually pay market rate for rental etc.

If you are in the area and can find some time to network who you know/meet can help expedite the job search.

I also would suggest you consider Minot/Bismarck/Billings in regards to the engineering positions. They are building so many things in the Bakken now that civil engineers, mechanical, structural, Electrical etc. are in high demand and some companies prefer to keep their staffs in the bigger cities where housing is easier and there is less chance professional talent will be hired away to competitors in the oil patch.

So, short, yes you will find work, if you can show up and present well. Get up here and check it out, you don’t often get to see a industrialization project of this scale.



Alex February 10, 2012 at

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply Jeffrey. I’m looking forward to visiting ND next week. Luckily I’m single, no kids, so I only need to worry about housing for me. I’d love to be able to get into one of the man camps and then I’d be set.



Jeffrey Gordon February 16, 2012 at

Hey Alex, how is the trip going?



Jason April 10, 2012 at

Any type of jobs there related to Underground (water/sewer main installation) work? I used to do that full time, along with running heavy equipement. But with the economy here in MN, i havent done it in a few years.


Jeffrey Gordon May 2, 2012 at

Hi Jason, yes there are all kinds of infrastructure work here in ND. Best thing is to get out here and check things out and put your resumes in, things are really starting to pick up this spring again.



Tom Smid June 16, 2012 at


I am in IL and certainly willing to drive to ND. Jobs are very hard to come by here. I am a Vietnam veteran and over-educated. My skill sets are in LARGE-scale Project Management. I also can turn a wrench. The jobs that I see in ND appear task-specific. Where do we enter, if our resumes don’t match a position?
i.e. IT Support, computers, help desk? There must be tons of jobs not in the fields.


Alasdair July 11, 2012 at

Hi Tom,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

Yes, indeed there are many jobs not related to oil in the Bakken. The whole infrastructure is expanding rapidly, so there are a myriad of support jobs, many of which might be suitable for you. Try searching for IT support jobs on our job board by entering “IT support” in the search box.

In the meantime, I’ll do further investigations for you in that area.

All the best,



Leave a Comment

What is 8 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

{ 1 trackback }