Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers, and Related Workers

(NOC 8232)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers control the use of drilling and hoisting equipment on drilling and service rigs and direct the activities of the rig crew under supervision of the rig manager. Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers use specialized equipment, tools or instruments to carry out services in well drilling, completion or servicing. They work for drilling and well service contractors, petroleum producing companies and well logging or testing companies.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate -415 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 355 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 32% of Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $82,121. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$29,952

Minimum

$89,741

Median

$289,122

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.84

Median

$32.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers control the use of drilling and hoisting equipment on drilling and service rigs and direct the activities of the rig crew under supervision of the rig manager. Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers use specialized equipment, tools or instruments to carry out services in well drilling, completion or servicing. They work for drilling and well service contractors, petroleum producing companies and well logging or testing companies.

Job duties

Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers:

  • Direct rig crew in setting up rigs and drilling, completing or servicing oil and gas exploration and producing wells.
  • Run controls of drill or service rig drilling and hoisting machinery.
  • Train or arrange for training of crew.
  • Keep records of drilling and servicing operations.
  • Make sure safety procedures are followed.

Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers:

  • Drive well service or wireline truck to well site.
  • Build and attach equipment, tools or recorders to drill stem or wireline to conduct required procedures and tests.
  • Use or direct the use of wireline or unit controls to lower, position and retrieve equipment and instruments.
  • Use recorders and computers in mobile testing or logging unit to collect data.
  • May do limited data interpretation.

Sample job titles

  • assistant driller - oil and gas well drilling
  • directional drilling operator
  • downhole tool operator
  • drill stem tester
  • driller - oil and gas drilling
  • electric line operator
  • logging and perforating operator
  • rig technician - driller
  • service rig operator - oil field services
  • slickline operator
  • well testing operator - oil and gas drilling
  • wireline operator

Skills

You should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical skill would also be helpful. You must be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by supervisors.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers need three to six months of formal on-the-job training, college or petroleum industry-approved training courses and four or more years of work experience in subordinate rig crew positions.
  • A college diploma in drilling may be required.
  • Offshore work requires several years of experience in the same position on land.
  • Certificates in first aid, hydrogen sulphide awareness, blowout prevention, well control, workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS), transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) and a special oil well operator (boiler) certificate are needed.
  • Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers need three to six months of formal on-the-job training and several years of experience in entry logging and testing positions or on drilling and servicing rigs.
  • Completion of a college program in electronics or engineering technology may be required for open hole well logging.
  • A provincial blaster's licence, and seismic blaster and oil well blaster certification are required for well perforation services.
  • Trade certification for rig technician is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified rig technicians after successful completion of the Red Seal exam.

Other considerations

Movement between jobs on drilling and service rigs is limited by the differences in the machinery, tools and operations performed, but movement is possible especially from drilling to service rigs. Movement to crew supervisor or manager is possible with experience and additional education and training. The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.

By the numbers

Quick look

280

employed in 2016

94.6%

employed full-time

3.6%

self employed

0.0%
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100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.4

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

20.0%

self employed

15.1%
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84.9%
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44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

29.1%

North Shore

29.1%

Halifax

20.0%

Annapolis Valley

14.5%

Cape Breton

7.3%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

78.8%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

15.2%

Construction

6.1%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

40.0%

35-44

25.0%

25-34

19.0%

45-54

12.0%

55-64

4.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

20.7%

45-54

19.8%

15-24

19.2%

55-64

16.2%

35-44

14.8%

25-34

Top levels of education

36.8%

High school

$73,073 median annual income
24.6%

Trade Certification

$119,831 median annual income
22.8%

College Diploma

$108,146 median annual income
14.0%

Less than high school

$70,873 median annual income
3.5%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

35.7%

Less than high school

$23,463 median annual income
30.8%

High school

$19,301 median annual income
13.7%

College Diploma

$29,551 median annual income
13.4%

Trade Certification

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of electrical, electronics and communication engineers. They include courses in electrical circuitry, prototype development and testing; systems analysis and testing, systems maintenance, instrument calibration, and report preparation.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Petroleum Technology/Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development and operation of oil and natural gas extraction and processing facilities. They include courses in principles of petroleum extraction and related geology, petroleum field mapping and site analysis, testing and sampling methods, instrument calibration, laboratory analysis, test equipment operation and maintenance, environment and safety monitoring procedures for oil/gas fields and facilities, facility inspection procedures, and report preparation.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Rig Technician

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, Occupational Health and Safety Division
Halifax, NS
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Westmount, QC

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.