Directional drillers make good money for being in charge of drilling an oil well horizontally. Here are some tips on how you might get in to that career.
Directional drillers earn good money, some of the best in the oilfield, for being in charge of drilling an oil well sideways or horizontally. It can be a demanding high pressure job. To be a directional driller one must be very mechanically inclined, have a good amount oilfield experience, be good at mathematics and be willing to travel and spend much as fifty weeks a year away from home when starting out.
If you have been working as a driller in the oilfield and are very good at math and complex problem solving then the next step would be to apply as a directional driller trainee with a company that provides that service such as Weatherford or Sperry Sun. Another way to begin is to work for several years as a MWD or "measure while drilling" technician doing "real time well logging" for a company such as Sperry Sun or Compass Directional and learn by watching and talking to directional drillers as you work with them providing the instrumentation they use to determine which way to steer the well.
If you are hired as a directional driller trainee you will spend at least six months in the field working alongside directional drillers and learning from them before attending a directional drilling school that can last as long as two months. Your work day may be eighteen hours or more a day as you work with the directional drillers on both shifts while learning the trade. Usually you will start off working as a "night hand" working the shift from 6 PM to 6 AM but because you are still learning your shift will be longer than that in reality. To learn more about how oil and gas wells are drilled horizontally visit the sites mentioned in resources section. Books on horizontal drilling can be found in the links below.