Oil and Gas Well Drilling Related Workers and Services Operators

(NOC 8412)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Oil and gas well drilling workers use drilling and service rig machinery as middle members of the rig crew. Oil and gas well services operators drive trucks and use specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures or gases to stimulate production. They work for drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

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.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. 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 Drilling Workers and Services Operators most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 11% of Oil and Gas Well Drilling Workers and Services Operators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. 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

$20.00

Minimum

$33.00

Median

$44.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,079

Minimum

$81,893

Median

$150,159

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 drilling workers use drilling and service rig machinery as middle members of the rig crew. Oil and gas well services operators drive trucks and use specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures or gases to stimulate production. They work for drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Job duties

Oil and gas well drilling workers:

  • Use specialized equipment, information and maps to determine and document the location of buried pipelines and other utilities to get ready for seismic exploration and drilling activities.
  • Line up and manipulate sections of pipe or drill stem from platform on rig derrick during removal and replacement of strings of pipe, or drill stem and drill bit.
  • Use and maintain drilling mud systems and pumps during drilling, and mix mud, chemicals and additives.
  • Record mud flows and volumes and take samples.
  • Use and maintain drilling rig diesel motors, transmissions and other equipment.
  • Help in setting up, taking down and transporting drilling and service rigs.
  • Supervise floorhands and labourers.

Oil and gas well services operators:

  • Drive well services truck to well site.
  • Build pumping equipment and attach pumps and hoses to wellhead.
  • Run hydraulic pumping systems to pump chemicals, gases, sand, cement or other material into well.
  • Read gauges to monitor pressure, density, rate and concentration and change pumping procedure as required.
  • May mix chemicals and cements.

Sample job titles

  • acidizer - oil field services
  • blender operator - oil field services
  • control room operator - offshore drilling
  • derrickman/woman
  • motorhand - oil and gas drilling
  • oil well cementer - oil field services
  • pumper operator - oil field services
  • pumpman/woman - oil field services
  • rig technician - derrickhand
  • seismic buried facilities locator

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.
  • Training of up to three months with an experienced operator is needed for oil and gas well services operators.
  • Petroleum industry-approved training courses may be required.
  • One year of experience as a floorhand, assistant or labourer is usually required.
  • Certificates in first aid, hydrogen sulphide awareness, blowout prevention, workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS), transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), cryogenic safety or in other safety concerns may be required.
  • Rig technician certification for motorhands and derrickhands may be required by some employers.

Other considerations

Movement to oil and gas well driller or service rig operator is possible with experience. Movement to supervisor of well services is possible for gas and oil well services operators.

By the numbers

Quick look

185

employed in 2016

89.5%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37.9

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%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

50.0%

Cape Breton

22.2%

Halifax

19.4%

North Shore

8.3%

Annapolis Valley

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

45.5%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

36.4%

Construction

9.1%

Other services (except public administration)

9.1%

Utilities

What is the age of Employment?

35.0%

25-34

32.0%

35-44

16.0%

45-54

8.0%

55-64

8.0%

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

39.5%

Apprenticeship

$88,526 median annual income
34.2%

College Diploma

$67,605 median annual income
7.9%

Bachelor

N/A
5.3%

High school

N/A
5.3%

Less than high school

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%

Apprenticeship

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

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

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Well drilling/driller

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to set up, maintain, repair, and operate well drilling equipment; locate, drill, construct, and develop water, gas, and oil wells; and test and monitor wells to ensure adequate flow. These programs include courses with applications to home, business, and industrial uses.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Rig Technician

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job 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 and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety Division
PO Box 697, 5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
Tel: (902) 424-5300
Enform
5055 - 11th Street NE
Calgary, AB T2E 8N4
Tel: (800) 667-5557
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Suite 1250, 3500 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Westmount, QC H3Z 3C1
Tel: (514) 939-2710
Fax: (514) 939-2714
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.