Measurement While Drilling (MWD) Specialists ensure that drilling an oil or gas well stays on target. They provide real-time data during the drilling operation, helping directional drillers steer the drill according to the drilling plan.

What a typical day looks like:

After performing pre-operational checks on the tools that measure the incline of the drill, the depth of the drill and the direction of the drill, an MWD Specialist has one goal: keep tools down-hole for as long as possible. If all goes smoothly, a tool will remain down below collecting measurements for five to seven days. While their tools are being used, the MWD Specialist is on-hand 24/7 in case anything goes wrong, like a lost signal or false data.

Employed by well services or utility services companies, MWD Specialists are mostly on-call, ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice. Their work can involve moderate physical exertion. Workplace hazards may include noise, fumes, heat, cold, moving equipment, electrical hazards and exposure to chemicals. And despite interacting with other workers at times, MWD Specialists will also work alone.

The kinds of problems MWD Specialists solve at work:

Drilling mud causes a lot of wear and tear on tools, so MWD Specialists need to anticipate if a piece of equipment is ready for the challenge. Pulling a piece of equipment up out of a well due to a failure can be a long and costly process that holds up progress – wells can be up to six kilometres deep!

Skills used most on the job:

MWD Specialists have an aptitude for technology and enjoy measuring data. They may also need to be able to service their tools and replace parts that have been worn from the operation.

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