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Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related Labourers

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NOC:8615
Occupation:Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing and Related Labourers
Category:Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

About the job

Nature of work:

Labourers in this group carry out a variety of general labouring duties and operate equipment to assist in the drilling and servicing of oil and gas wells. This group also includes labourers who assist in geophysical prospecting for oil and gas. They are employed by drilling and well servicing contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Job duties:
Labourers in this group perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Manipulate sections of pipe or drill stem at the rig floor during drilling and during the removal and replacement of strings of pipe or drill stem and drill bit.
  • Maintain drilling equipment on the drill floor.
  • Handle, sort and move drill tools, pipe, cement and other materials.
  • Clean up rig areas.
  • Assist in setting up, taking down and transporting drilling and service rigs and service equipment.
  • May drive trucks to transport materials and well service equipment
Sample job titles:
  • floorhand - oil and gas drilling
  • leasehand - oil and gas drilling
  • oil field labourer
  • roughneck
  • seismic survey helper
  • service rig helper - oil field services
  • shakerhand - oil and gas drilling
  • well treatment helper - oil field services
Skills:

To work in these jobs, you should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school may be required.
  • Completion of introductory college or petroleum industry-approved training courses may be required.
  • Certificates in hydrogen sulphide awareness, workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) or transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) may be required.
Other considerations:

Most workers in these jobs work for part of the year and typically earn less than half the yearly income of employees who work for the whole year. The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time. Progression to more senior operating positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing and Related Labourers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 11% of Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing and Related Labourers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $51,122. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related Labourers170xxx
Minimum: $18.00
Median: $27.47
Maximum: $45.00
Minimum: $11,051
Median: $39,196
Maximum: $98,211
Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining14,665Decline slightly910High
Minimum: $10.85
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.88
Minimum: $4,009
Median: $23,520
Maximum: $87,170
Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related LabourersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
Percent employed full-time94%84%
Percent self-employed24%22%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentOil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related LabourersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern8%x12%$30,581
Northern8%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton72%$52,23013%$32,974
Halifax10%x47%$41,209
Annapolis Valley3%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeOil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related LabourersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
15-248%x
25-3426%8%
35-4430%19%
45-5420%42%
55-6415%26%
65+2%4%
Median Age4445
GenderOil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related LabourersCompared to: Occupations in Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% Employed% Employed
Female14%15%
Male86%85%
EducationOil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Related LabourersCompared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school16.7%x34.0%$14,445
High school43.1%$50,65531.5%$14,229
Trades certificate18.1%x14.0%$19,107
College certificate or diploma18.1%x14.3%$21,289
University certificate or diplomaN/Ax1.1%$17,641
Bachelor's degree4.2%x4.3%$15,980
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.3%$17,206
Master's degreeN/Ax0.4%x
DoctorateN/Ax0.1%$10,708
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/AxN/AN/A
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Department of Environment
PO Box 442
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
Tel: (902) 424-3600
Fax: (902) 424-0503
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 698
Halifax, NS B3J 2T9
Tel: (902) 424-5935
Fax: (902) 424-7735

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Petroleum engineering
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems for locating, extracting, processing and refining crude petroleum and natural gas, including prospecting instruments and equipment, mining and drilling systems, processing and refining systems and facilities, storage facilities, transportation systems, and related environmental and safety systems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Petroleum technology/technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development and operation of oil and natural gas extraction and processing facilities. These programs include courses in principles of petroleum extraction and related geology, petroleum field mapping and site analysis, testing and sampling methods, instrument calibration, laboratory analysis, test equipment operation and maintenance, environment and safety monitoring procedures for oil/gas fields and facilities, facility inspection procedures, and report preparation.
See all institutions providing this program+
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Well drilling/driller
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to set up, maintain, repair, and operate well drilling equipment; locate, drill, construct, and develop water, gas, and oil wells; and test and monitor wells to ensure adequate flow. These programs include courses with applications to home, business, and industrial uses.
See all institutions providing this program+
Maritime Drilling Schools Ltd.
150 Peppett Street
North Sydney, NS B2A 2P6
(902) 794-1132
lw.mds@ns.sympatico.ca 
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.