Start your Future
If you are new to the drilling industry, you will receive the necessary training upon hiring. If you are looking for a competitive advantage in getting a job, you may want to consider taking some of the training listed below before applying.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
HOW TO APPLY FOR A JOB ON A DRILLING RIG
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This industry is seasonal and cyclical.
It’s seasonal because rigs are busiest in the winter. How long cold weather hangs on in any given year is important to a rig crew. In the spring, thawing roads and soft fields make it difficult to move equipment, which means rigs are shut down while the industry waits for the ground to dry out.
Rig work is also affected by the cyclical trading of oil and gas on the stock market. When these commodities are priced higher, more rigs go to work; when oil and gas have a low price, rigs are less active.
In Canada, work in the oil and gas services industry is seasonal. Rig equipment is heavy, and therefore can only move when the ground is solid. Most wells are drilled or serviced in the winter or summer when the ground is either frozen or dry and provides a solid base. During the shoulder seasons, the ground and most roads can be severely damaged if heavy equipment runs over top.
For this reason, road bans are issued to prevent heavy equipment from operating in certain areas. This is important because rig employees should be prepared to have an extended period of time off during break-up. It is important to either save enough money to last through the break, or have another job to get you through the period (usually between one and four months).
Some companies will have maintenance opportunities for rig workers, or if you are eligible to work in another country, there may be opportunities abroad during Canadian break-up. Finally, many employees may qualify for employment insurance benefits.
What does this mean for your job application?
The best time to inquire about job opportunities is right before peak rig activity—typically in September when the industry is seeking new applicants to fill crew vacancies. Also, if commodity prices are strong, there will be more demand for rigs no matter what time of year it is.