8412 Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators

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Lead statement

Oil and gas well drilling workers operate drilling and service rig machinery as intermediate members of the rig crew. Oil and gas well services operators drive trucks and operate specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures or gases to stimulate production. Workers in this unit group are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Example Titles

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


  • seismic buried facilities locator

Main duties

Oil and gas well drilling workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Use specialized equipment, information and maps to determine and document the location of buried pipelines and other utilities in preparation for seismic exploration and drilling activities
  • Align 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
  • Operate and maintain drilling mud systems and pumps during drilling, and mix mud, chemicals and additives
  • Record mud flows and volumes and take samples
  • Operate and maintain drilling rig diesel motors, transmissions and other mechanical equipment
  • Assist in setting up, taking down and transporting drilling and service rigs
  • Supervise floorhands and labourers.

Oil and gas well services operators perform some or all of the following duties:

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

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Training of up to three months with an experienced operator is required for oil and gas well services operators.
  • Completion of 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.

Additional information

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


  • Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (82228222)
  • Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers (86158615)
  • Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (82328232)