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  2. Labourers
  3. Drilling and Service Rig Labourer

Drilling and Service Rig Labourer

NOC #85111

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education Grade 10
  • Average salary $48,000 to $84,000

Career profile

Drilling and service rig labourers assist operators on drilling rigs and service rigs with general labour, such as cleaning equipment to ensure it is properly functioning. These are generally entry-level positions.

Work on a land-based drilling rig is seasonal with the vast majority of the work occurring during the fall and winter months. Offshore drilling, meanwhile, is carried out by drill ships or platform drill rigs known as “jackup rigs.” Both onshore and offshore drilling rigs operate 24-hours a day and can take several weeks to drill a single well. Onshore service rigs are mobile and service rig labourers are responsible for getting the rig and supporting equipment from one well site to the next. An offshore service ship is a floating version of a service rig and crews stay aboard for as long as it takes to service the well.

The typical roles on a drilling rig include:

  • Floorhands assist in placing pipe into wells, collecting samples of drill debris for analysis, mixing mud and chemicals, and cleaning and maintaining equipment.
  • Leasehands typically perform general labour and maintenance tasks around the rig site including loading and unloading trucks, clearing debris from walkways, cleaning tools and putting items away.

The typical roles on a service rig include:

  • Floorhands assist with moving a rig and equipment from one site to another and can also help move tubing in and out of the wellbore. They also keep a rig, equipment and site tidy.
Oil and gas services

In this occupation activities may include:

  • Following all safety and rig procedures
  • Helping move rigs on and off the lease
  • Helping run and pull tubing in and out of the well
  • Organizing materials to prepare for use
  • Helping extraction workers, such as drillers and derrick operators
  • Taking apart the extractions and boring equipment using hand tools
  • Loading materials into well holes
  • Manipulating sections of pipe or drill stem at the rig floor during drilling and during the removal and replacement of strings, drill stem or drill bit


  • High school graduation is not required for this occupation but preferred by some employers. Experience as a labourer, working around heavy machinery and mechanical aptitude are assets.


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • H2S Alive®


  • Drilling rig operators require a Class 5 driver’s licence and a clean driving record
  • A Class 5 or 3 driver’s licence (with air brake endorsement) is an asset for service rig operators

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test

  • Minimal or no travel
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Physical work
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Work away from home/in camps

You have a strong work ethic and a mechanical aptitude.

  • Energetic
  • Stress tolerance
  • Attention to detail
  • Public safety and security knowledge
  • Mechanical knowledge
  • Active listening
  • Troubleshooting
  • Operation and control
  • Equipment selection
  • Operation monitoring