Wireline Operator Career

Job Description: Operate equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells or to remove stuck pipe, casing, tools, or other obstructions from drilling wells. May also perform similar services in mining exploration operations. Includes fishing-tool technicians.

*A job as a Wireline Operator falls under the broader career category of Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Wireline Operator Career

What Wireline Operators do:

  • Maintain and perform safety inspections on equipment and tools.
  • Prepare reports of services rendered, tools used, or time required, for billing purposes.
  • Close and seal wells no longer in use.
  • Confer with others to gather information regarding pipe or tool sizes or borehole conditions in wells.
  • Operate pumps that circulate water, oil, or other fluids through wells to remove sand or other materials obstructing the free flow of oil.
  • Thread cables through derrick pulleys, using hand tools.
  • Interpret instrument readings to ascertain the depth of obstruction.
  • Operate controls that raise derricks or level rigs.
  • Listen to engines, rotary chains, or other equipment to detect faulty operations or unusual well conditions.
  • Install pressure-control devices onto wellheads.
  • Drive truck-mounted units to well sites.
  • Select fishing methods or tools for removing obstacles such as liners, broken casing, screens, or drill pipe.
  • Direct drilling crews performing activities such as assembling and connecting pipe, applying weights to drill pipes, or drilling around lodged obstacles.
  • Perforate well casings or sidewalls of boreholes with explosive charges.
  • Insert detection instruments into wells with obstructions.
  • Examine unserviceable wells to determine actions to be taken to improve well conditions.
  • Operate specialized equipment to remove obstructions by backing-off or severing pipes by chemical or explosive action.
  • Apply green technologies or techniques such as the use of coiled tubing, slim-hole drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, or gas lift systems.
  • Monitor sound wave generating or detecting mechanisms to determine well fluid levels.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Holland Code Chart for a Wireline Operator