Your Service Rig Career



The most common pay schedule is every two weeks.

Service rig employees will usually work overtime, and many contractors will offer benefits packages.

Rig Crew & Schedule

Most service rig crews have four positions: Rig Manager, Operator, Derrickhand, and Floorhand.

The Rig Manager is the senior supervisor on site and is in complete charge of the rig.  He is responsible to ensure the safety and efficacy of the crew, the equipment and the overall operation.  The Rig Manager's direction and leadership keep the operation running smoothly and safely.

An Operator also supervises the crew.  The operator reports to the Rig Manager and is responsible to develop a well-trained, reliable and safety-conscious crew.

The Derrickhand works above the rig floor on a platform called a tubingboard.  From this position the Derrickhand guides lengths of tubing, instruments and tools as they are being raised from or lowered into the well.  The Derrickhand also assists in training new and junior crew members.

The Floorhand uses the elevators and tongs (equipment on the rig floor) to guide instruments and casing downhole.  Often service rig crews have two floorhands.  A Floorhand's responsibilities also include equipment maintenance and assisting other crew members.  

Other people will be on site, and involved in the well servicing operation, but these people are not employed by the service rig contractor.

Shifts typically start with the crew meeting at a central location, and driving out to site together.
Service rig crews are usually working between four and 12 hour shifts each day. Most of the crews live in towns or cities near the rig yard.

Depending on the job however, service rigs may work in remote locations. This work can be either short, or long-term. For out-of-town work, rig crews will live in camps or hotels, with room and board typically paid for by the company.

As a new employee, your job will likely involve the tasks below:

  • Clean and maintain the rig

  • Assist the Derrickhand and Driller on the rig floor

  • Help with downhole activities

  • Assist with “Rig Up” and “Rig Out” (moving the rig)

  • Follow all company safety regulations