Oil and gas well drillers and service rig operators control the operation of drilling and hoisting equipment on drilling and service rigs.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 370
N/A - Data not available
This group includes oil and gas well drillers, service rig operators and oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers. Drillers and servicers typically supervise installation of and operate drilling equipment, and loggers and testers monitor and collect data about the operation.
Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers:
Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers:
Working conditions vary depending on rig locations and weather conditions. Many jobs in this group are located in remote locations. As a result, workers are often required to travel and stay either on or close to the site for extended periods of time. Worksites are outdoors and workers may be exposed to extreme weather conditions, and to dust, loud noises and fumes common around rigs.
Work in this occupational group is physically demanding and may involve lifting items that weigh more than 25 kilograms. Workers may also be exposed to potential hazards, including exposure to chemicals (e.g., paint, motor oil and drilling mixtures) and moving machinery commonly found on rigs. Safety is paramount and standard safety practices, safety gear (e.g., hard hats, eye protection, gloves and steel-toed boots) and emergency procedures are strictly regulated and followed.
Most workers in this group are full time. However, they generally do not work year-round because of the seasonal nature of the work and the impact of weather conditions. Very few workers are self-employed or work on a part-time basis. Shifts are usually 8–12 hours and rotating shift work is very common, as rigs operate 24 hours a day. Shift length varies by occupation, location and urgency of the job. Overtime and weekend work may also be required.
Source: 2016 Census
Employers generally require workers in this group to be at least 18 years of age and have completed some secondary school education. In addition, these occupations require certification in first aid, workplace hazardous material information system, fall arrest, hydrogen sulphide awareness, transportation of dangerous goods, blowout prevention for service rigs and boiler operations.
Each occupational group also has its own specific educational requirements. These are described below.
Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers require:
Service rig operators require:
Oil and gas well loggers, testers and related workers undergo three to six months of on-the-job training and need several years of experience in subordinate positions on drilling or servicing rigs. A college program in electronics or engineering technology may be required for open hole well logging.
For more information, please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Many of the opportunities that will become available in the next several years will be a result of new job growth.
Drillers and service rig operators may advance to rig management or other management positions in the drilling and service rig industries. Workers may also move into drilling-related equipment sales or rig training, regulatory or safety positions.
Direct rig experience is highly valued for advancement. However, additional education and training will also be required.