1. Energy careers
  2. Operators
  3. Oil and Gas Well Drilling Workers

Oil and Gas Well Drilling Workers

NOC #84101

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education High school diploma
  • Average salary $48,000 to $82,000

Career profile

Oil and gas well drilling workers operate and maintain drilling rigs and various specialized equipment that is used in the drilling activities in the oil and gas sector and work as intermediate members of the rig crew. They may supervise the activities of floorhands and labourers. They may take mud samples and record its characteristics and operate pumps that mix mud, chemicals and other additives during drilling. They are employed by oil and gas service companies and include the following specialties:

Oil and gas services, Offshore

In this occupation, activities may include:

  • Using specialized equipment, information and maps to determine and document buried pipelines and other utilities in preparation for drilling activities
  • Operating and maintaining drilling mud systems and pumps during drilling, and mixing mud, chemicals and additives
  • Recording mud characteristics and taking samples
  • Operating and maintaining drilling rig diesel motors, transmissions and other mechanical equipment
  • Supervising floorhands and labourers

More detailed activities are found under each specialty listed above.


  • A high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required.


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • H2S Alive
  • Specific health and safety certifications may be required, determined by location of work and company requirements.


  • Requirements are different depending on the role and may include Class 1 or 5 driver’s licence.

Additional Requirements:

  • Ability to pass a pre-employment physical and drug test
  • A clean driving record
  • Travel sometimes required
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Physical work
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Work away from home/in camps
  • Mechanics
  • Public safety and security
  • Maintaining equipment
  • Monitoring operations
  • Troubleshooting
  • Building and construction
  • Computers and electronics
  • Critical thinking
  • Installation