Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (NOC 8222)

About this job

Contractors and supervisors in oil and gas drilling services coordinate and supervise the activities of workers engaged in drilling for oil or gas, operating service rigs or providing oil and gas services.

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People in this occupation:

  • work for drilling and well service contractors and petroleum producing companies
  • are the senior on-site representative for rig contractors
  • should have strong leadership, managerial, organizational, communication and mechanical skills
  • must be comfortable working both independently and in a team
  • must be quick-thinking and must have the ability to plan and direct the work of others
  • should be observant, responsible, physically fit and have knowledge of safety procedures

This group includes oilfield consultants who may be self-employed.

Common job titles
  • consultant, oil & gas well drilling
  • contractor, oilfield / oil and gas
  • foreperson, well drilling & servicing
  • operator, multi-service - oil field
  • rig manager - oil and gas drilling
  • superintendent, offshore drilling rig


Supervisors in this unit group perform some or all of the following duties:

  • supervise, coordinate and schedule the activities of workers who drill for oil and gas, operate service rigs or provide oil and gas well services
  • establish methods to meet work schedules and coordinate work activities with other stakeholders
  • request materials and supplies
  • solve work problems and recommend ways to improve productivity
  • train workers in job duties, safety procedures and company policies
  • recommend personnel actions such as hires and promotions
  • prepare production and other reports
  • may set up machines and equipment

Work environment

Supervisors in this group work around heavy machinery and equipment. A number of potential hazards exist on site relating to large, moving machinery, potentially harmful chemicals and unstable terrain. Given these conditions, workplace safety is at the forefront and all work sites follow strict safety regulations, including wearing eye protection, gloves, hard hats and steel-toed boots.

Many rig sites are located in remote areas. As a result, supervisors may be required to travel and remain on site for extended periods of time. Since work sites are located outdoors, workers may also be exposed to many different types of weather conditions.

Most supervisors in this field work full time. Part-time work is not common and only a small number of supervisors are self-employed. Rigs operate for 24 hours a day and rotating shifts of 8–12 hours are very common, with supervisors potentially working in excess of 40 hours a week. Work hours, job location and travel requirements vary with the employer and the type of job.

Insights from industry

Demand for experienced employees in this very small occupational group is expected to grow at an average rate. New job growth will be largely due to rising prices and demand for energy commodities, which prompts companies to increase their workforces to support increased production and exploration activity.

Due to the small size of this occupational group, openings that arise from job creation and retirements will be relatively few. Employees with experience in directional and horizontal drilling projects, as well as large multi-rig jobs should have an advantage in finding work.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

To become a supervisor in this field, workers should gain as much experience, on-the-job training and education as possible. Supervisors may advance to management positions.

Additional resources