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  3. Power Tong Operator

Power Tong Operator

NOC #84101

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education High school diploma
  • Average salary $56,000 to $75,000

Career profile

Power tong operators control the equipment that threads sections of drill casing into the wellbore. As members of the oilfield well services team, they are responsible for operating power tongs, torque measuring equipment and tube/casing handling equipment at the well site. Casing is required to maintain an oil or gas well’s structural integrity, prevent the cross-contamination of water with other fluids and control well pressure during the drilling, production and maintenance of the well.

Power tong operators transport equipment to and from the well location, safely rig in and operate the equipment, perform day-to-day inspections, servicing and maintenance of equipment, and complete all required paperwork accurately and on time.

Oil and gas services

In this occupation activities may include:

  • Communicating with other members of the well services crew to ensure the proper placement and operation of conventional casing tools and equipment
  • Using power tongs to move and connect the drill pipe and/or casing during drilling operations
  • Coating pipe threads to ensure the proper seal is made and to prevent corrosion
  • Performing preventative maintenance on power tongs and pipe handling equipment in accordance with company procedures
  • Troubleshooting the power tongs and pipe handling equipment, and advising maintenance personnel on the necessary repairs


  • A high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required. Basic mechanical skills and heavy hauling or off-road driving experience are assets to the job.


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • H2S Alive
  • Oilfield driver awarenss


  • Class 1 license (with air brake endorsement) and a clean driving record

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to pass a pre-employment physical and drug test
  • 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 stamina to the job. You have solid communication skills to work with others and get the job done.

  • Mechanics
  • Public safety and security
  • Monitoring operations
  • Controlling operations
  • Maintaining equipment
  • Troubleshooting
  • Managing material resources
  • Installing
  • Repairing
  • Selecting the right equipment