Working on a Drilling Rig

Whether you are looking for a life-long career, or a jump start into the oil and gas industry, working at a drilling rig has many benefits:

Experience and Development

The experience earned from our paid, best-in-class industry training will stay valuable for a lifetime.  You will be gaining hands-on experience with high-spec equipment, and leading technologies that supply the world with energy.  The high-paced, high capacity and team-focused work emphasizes safe-practices and strength of character that will provide a solid foundation to prepare you for any future endeavor.

Personal Benefits

Many drilling rig companies offer comprehensive and affordable healthcare benefits plans for you and your family, along with pension plans, life and disability insurance, and employee savings and share purchase plans.  Earn a signing bonus, or an hourly cash bonus, benefit from an employee referral, or matching company paid RRSP plan.  Plan your future knowing that we have your back in this industry.

Global/Local Opportunities

Working at a drilling rig will expose you to numerous opportunities locally, and globally.  Locally, advancement opportunities are diverse, with many making the jump from the field to corporate, or working up the ranks from Floorhand to Rig Manager.  Globally, energy services are needed all over the world, and our international members provide opportunities extending from Latin America, to Australia, to the Middle East.  Get your start in earning life-long skills, lucrative wages, and world-wide transferrable experience.

Before starting a career in the oilfield service industry, a drilling rig employee should be:

  • Legally eligible to work in Canada

  • At least 18 years of age

  • Possess a valid driver’s license

  • Physically fit

Work Gear/PPE

You should plan on having most of the items below on your first day of work. Some of these items are provided by your employer, depending on the company. In your interview, it’s a good idea to ask what gear you will be expected to have:

ANSI Approved Hard Hat

Standard in most industrial workplaces, a hard hat must be worn when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects, or exposure to electrical conductors.  A hard hat must be worn in these types of environments in order to counteract the dangers of the job.  ANSI approved hard hats meet the minimum criteria established by the American National Standards (ANSI) in accordance with the most current ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 (R2019) standard.

​CSA Approved Steel Toed Boots

Safety shoes must be worn at all times to properly protect your feet, and reduce risk of injury.  A CSA  Approved safety shoe will meet at least one of the five criteria set by the Canadian Standards Association. Safety shoes have an alphanumerical code inside the shoe that will let you know how much impact your shoe can withstand, if it protects against punctures, shocks, or collisions, and if it resists electrical shocks and chainsaws.  A CSA Approved steel toed boot with a Grade 1 Protective Toe can withstand impacts of 125 joules, which is equivalent to a 22.7 kg object falling from a height of 56 centimetres, and the sole puncture protection is designed to withstand a force of no less than 1200 Newtons (270 pounds).


Protective coveralls ensure a high level of protection for the rig worker while on the job.  They cover your personal clothing, and entire body except for your face, hands, and feet while giving you plenty of mobility, and protecting against chemical, biological, mechanical, thermal, and electrical hazards.  Their design ensures additional protection against uncontrolled loss of parts of clothing while performing particularly dangerous work, or maneuvering through difficult tasks.  Also fire resistant, they are designed to self-extinguish, and won't continue to burn even if you are exposed to flames or embers and prevent the fire from spreading to other areas of the body. And lastly, your coveralls must be:

  • lightweight
  • comfortable
  • breathable

Safety glasses    

Rig workers can be affected by numerous working weather conditions and flying dirt, sand grease, oil and other debris.  Eye protection is crucial to ensure that you are comfortable and protected at work while also being able to complete tasks with ease and visibility.  It is important to find a pair of comfortable glasses, that fit well, are not too tight, and do not slip.  Safety glasses are available in a variety of styles and fits so that anyone can find a style that suits their needs, as well as prescription safety glasses or lense covers in case they don't fit comfortably over your prescription glasses.


Safety gloves are specifically made to protect your hands against hazards by creating a barrier that blocks heat, cold, chemicals, and biohazards from your skin while also protecting against cuts, punctures, abrasion hazards, and impact injuries.  Depending on the task at hand, a drilling rig worker might need general work gloves, or for more specific tasks,  specialty gloves are needed for welding, cutting, handling chemicals or other odd jobs.  

Hearing Protection

The use of ear plugs or ear muffs can depend on where a rig worker is, and what they are doing.  Drilling sites can be loud, and simple maintenance tasks can have a damaging effect on a worker's hearing over time, even if it is only for a short period of time.  Keep a pair of ear plugs or ear muffs on hand at all times for your comfort.