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Toolpushers manage a team of workers on an oil rig or platform. They are second-in-command of the drilling crew, under the drilling superintendent, and are responsible for running drilling operations. Much of their work is administrative. Other terms used for this job include tour pusher and lead driller.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

The starting salary for toolpushers can range from about £45,000 to £55,000 a year. With experience they can earn £75,000 to £90,000 a year, sometimes more, especially when working in the Middle East. (In addition, employers provide accommodation and food, as well as warm and waterproof clothing.)


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

The UK oil and gas industry is located mainly off the east coast of Scotland and England. But there are also fields west of Shetland and in the Irish and North Seas. The employers in the industry include operating companies (usually oil companies) that hold exploration and production licences, drilling companies with contracts to do drilling work and a wide range of other major contractors and companies offering specialist technical services. There is a lot of competition for entry to this job. The main recruitment contacts in Scotland are in the Aberdeen area.

What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Tel: 01925 515200
Twitter: @cogent_skills

Cogent is the Sector Skills Council for the science industries.

Energy Institute
Tel: 020 7467 7100
Twitter: @EnergyInstitute

Tel: 01224 787800
Twitter: @OPITOGlobal

OPITO provides services to the oil and gas industry relating to health and safety, education and skills training.

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