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  2. Operators
  3. Slickline Operator

Slickline Operator

NOC #83101

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education Grade 10
  • Average salary $64,000 to $139,000

Career profile

Slickline operators raise and lower downhole tools (e.g., bailers, pulling tools, stems and running tools) with a wire cable which are used to test and maintain oil and gas wells. They retrieve and/or install valves, plugs and pressure regulators. They lower and raise downhole tools and plugs to proper depth and direct the fishing tools used to retrieve broken or lost wire or equipment.

This occupation is divided into several levels from assistant operator to Level 3 operator. Each level involves more responsibility and more complex tasks.

  • Level 1 activities involve all the basic operations such as raising and lowering tools, maintaining the rig and assisting with the planning and implementation of the job.
  • Level 2 and 3 have an added supervisory element.
  • Level 3 is involved in other types of activities which require further skills, such as perforating.
Oil and gas services, Offshore

In this occupation activities may include:

  • Mechanically manipulating downhole tools from operator compartments in slickline trucks
  • Operating hydraulic pumps to spool the slickline back onto the reel drum
  • Using weight indicator gauges and depth counters to monitor the tension and depth of the slickline
  • Installing and retrieving valves including gas lift valves, plugs and pressure regulators
  • Running instruments to record bottom hole pressure and temperature


  • There are no specific educational requirements, however, training courses are available and it is possible to apply for apprenticeship training in some jurisdictions.


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • H2S Alive
  • Confined space entry
  • Fall protection
  • Aerial Lift Training
  • Traffic Control
  • Respirator fit training
  • Travel likely required
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Physical work
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Work away from home/in camps

You bring strength and physical stamina to the job. You have solid communication skills and work well with others.

  • Public safety and security
  • Installation
  • Mechanical
  • Equipment selection
  • Operation and control
  • Law and government
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Operation monitoring
  • Complex problem solving
  • Troubleshooting