This job is usually the first promotion for a capable roughneck with strong mechanical aptitude, but such promotions do not come quickly. The motorhand is responsible for keeping the engines used to power the well drilling equipment running smoothly. This equipment includes engines that turn the rotary table to lift the pipe and heavy drill bit, and an engine to mix drilling mud continuously. Motorhands also routinely test drilling equipment for safety and reliability, handle the rig’s boilers, order replacement tools and equipment parts and train roustabouts and roughnecks. Safety and first aid certifications are generally required for motorhand jobs.
Pay is generally upwards of $20 per hour ($40,000 per year).