• Labourers
  • Seismic Operator
  • NOCs #8615, #8412, #7372

Seismic Operator

Job Overview

Your job is a blast. Affectionately known as a doodlebugger, you prepare, control and conduct seismic tests to find and record sound waves from energy sources under the earth’s surface. Ultimately, you help companies determine the location of subsurface mineral deposits and rock formations. With jug-shaped microphones in hand and a love for the outdoors, you’re ready to shake things up.

Seismic operators determine the presence and the extent of oil and gas deposits in a particular area using seismic equipment. They do so through four key phases: surveying, line clearing, seismic drilling and data acquisition and recording. Most seismic work occurs in remote locations.

In surveying, seismic operators create maps and design the routes where seismic studies will occur. Line clearing involves clearing trails through the bush using chainsaws. In seismic drilling, operators detonate charges in drilled holes to create seismic waves underground. Finally, through data acquisition and recording, these seismic waves are recorded to determine the characteristics of the underground rock structures.

The typical roles in this occupation include:

  • Chainers measure, map and find drilling locations
  • GPS surveyors or rovers collect and process survey readings
  • Utilities locators locate buried utilities
  • Chainsaw buckers or fallers clear survey lines using global positioning system (GPS) technology
  • Seismic drillers drill holes, placing explosive charges to detonate and create seismic waves underground
  • Shooters or blasters prepare equipment and detonate the explosives
  • Seismic observers digitally record seismic readings
  • Field equipment coordinators coordinate the movement of vehicles and equipment
  • Troubleshooters repair seismic equipment
  • Vibrating equipment operators operate vibrating equipment that generates seismic waves.

Transferability information for this occupation is available on the Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers.

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Oil and gas