About This Career
Drilling and Service Rig Labourers assist operators on drilling rigs and service rigs with duties that generally require less skill, such as cleaning equipment to ensure it is properly functioning. This occupation is considered entry-level. The type of equipment and time spent on site are the key differences between the two roles.
Work on a land-based drilling rig is seasonal with the vast majority of the work occurring during the fall and winter months. Offshore drilling, meanwhile, is carried out by drill ships or platform drill rigs known as “jackup rigs.” Both onshore and offshore drilling rigs operate 24-hours a day and can take several weeks to drill a single well. Onshore service rigs are mobile and Service Rig Labourers are responsible for getting the rig and supporting equipment from one well site to the next. An offshore service ship is a floating version of a service rig and crews stay aboard for as long as it takes to service the well.
The typical roles on a drilling rig include:
- Floorhands assist in placing pipe into wells, collecting samples of drill debris for analysis, mixing mud and chemicals, and cleaning and maintaining equipment.
- Leasehands typically perform general labour and maintenance tasks around the rig site including loading and unloading trucks, clearing debris from walkways, cleaning tools and putting items away.
The typical roles on a service rig include:
- Floorhands assist with moving a rig and equipment from one site to another and can also help move tubing in and out of the wellbore. They also keep a rig, equipment and site tidy.
Education: High school graduation is not required for this occupation but preferred by some employers. Experience as a labourer, working around heavy machinery and mechanical aptitude are assets.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the oil and gas services sector of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Leasehand, Floorhand, Roughneck, Roustabout, Labourer
Working from Heights
Some Overtime Required
Oil and gas services
- Grade 10
- Drilling Rig Operators require a Class 5 driver’s licence and a clean driving record
- A Class 5 or 3 driver's licence (with air brake endorsement) is an asset for Service Rig Operators
- Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test