About Solids Control Technicians

What is a solids control technician?

A solids control technician is a contract professional working on behalf of a solids control company or a service company on a drilling operation. This person works on location and is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the level of solids within the drilling fluid (mud) at all times so that it can be reused efficiently and will not damage the rig equipment. This position includes operating and maintaining the solids control equipment and coordinating with the drilling consultant.

What are the responsibilities of a solids control technician?

A solids control technician is responsible for operating and maintaining the solids control equipment on a rig including centrifuges, drying shakers, desanders, desilters, and track hoes.

This equipment is designed to remove the solids, the cut and crushed pieces of rock produced at the drill bit face as it moves down the wellbore, from the drilling fluid so that it can then be reused and run back down hole in a continuous, closed loop system. The solids must be carried to the surface by the drilling mud to prevent the mud from becoming so laden with solids that it could damage the equipment and no longer be pumped down hole. They also assist with or supervise the inspecting, rigging up, troubleshooting, and rigging down of this equipment.

What is the required experience or career path for a solids control technician?

This job is most commonly held by someone without a technical degree. Previous experience as a directional consultant or working with solids control, drilling mud, or solids control equipment is preferred. However, it is possible to work one’s way up to a solids control technician from a lower position on a drilling rig. Similarly, someone without experience can be trained to be a solids control technician.

Where does a solids control technician work?

A solids control technician spends about 99% of their time on location, only leaving for necessary groceries or errands during lulls in the drilling operation.

What is a solids control technician's schedule?

A solids control technician’s schedule varies depending on the schedule run by the service or solids control company, but common schedules for this position are (days on site/days off):

  • 14/14
  • 14/7
  • 21/21
  • 30/30

Solids control technicians typically work 12 hours per day. Some companies rotate day and night shift consultants while others only run one consultant who is responsible for 24-hour operations. Short term jobs of about 45 days or less may operate without making a consultant change.

Who does a solids control technician report to?

The solids control technician reports to the drilling consultant on location.

Who reports to a solids control technician?

There is typically no direct report to a solids control technician.

How much do solids control technicians make?

Solids control technicians make on average $350 per day. They may make between $250 and $700 per day depending on experience, specialties, location, and category of well.