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 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

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

  • Estimate 415 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 1430 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small, with infrequent job opportunities.
Demand: A small number of positions will become available due to retirements.
Work hours: full-time, usually.

Hourly Pay

$20.00

Minimum

$35.00

Median

$48.27

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,079

Minimum

$81,893

Median

$150,159

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$18.00

Median

$30.00

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
  • derrickperson
  • 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

  • Quick thinking
  • Emotional stability
  • Physical strength, stamina, and agility
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Manual dexterity
  • A safety-conscious attitude
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • The ability to work as a team and take instructions from supervisors
  • The ability to judge distances and spatial relationships
  • The ability to work at heights

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • 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.

Other considerations

  • Working conditions vary depending on tasks performed, rig location, and weather conditions. The work is mostly outdoors in all weather and workers may be exposed to dust, loud noises, and fumes common around rigs.
  • Many jobs in this group are located in remote locations. Workers are often required to travel and stay either on or close to the site for extended periods of time.
  • Work in this occupation is physically demanding and involves heavy lifting.
  • Risks include exposure to chemicals, falls on slippery rig floors, and injuries from working with tools and moving machinery.
  • Work schedules vary with industry demand. Some people work two weeks followed by a week off. Workers usually work 12-hour shifts.
  • New employees on a drilling rig start as leasehands or floorhands. With on-the-job training, a positive attitude, and the ability to learn quickly, they can advance to motorhand, derrickhand, and driller positions.
  • Experienced workers may advance to management positions. Some experienced workers may be hired by specialist companies as mud technicians or directional drillers. Others may move into related equipment sales or training, regulatory, or safety positions.

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

$81,642 median annual income
22.2%

Halifax

N/A
19.4%

North Shore

$69,464 median annual income
8.3%

Annapolis Valley

N/A

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%

15-24

8.0%

55-64

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%

Trade Certification

$88,526 median annual income
34.2%

College Diploma

$67,605 median annual income
7.9%

Bachelor

N/A
5.3%

Less than high school

N/A
5.3%

Diploma Below 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

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

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.