About This Career
Seismic Operators determine the presence and the extent of oil and gas deposits in a particular area using seismic equipment. They do so through four key phases: surveying, line clearing, seismic drilling, and data acquisition and recording. Most seismic work occurs in remote locations.
In surveying, Seismic Operators create maps and design the routes where seismic studies will occur. Line clearing involves clearing trails through the bush using chainsaws. In seismic drilling, operators detonate charges in drilled holes to create seismic waves underground. Finally, through data acquisition and recording, these seismic waves are recorded to determine the characteristics of the underground rock structures.
The typical roles in this occupation include:
- Chainers measure, map and find drilling locations
- GPS Surveyors or Rovers collect and process survey readings
- Utilities Locators locate buried utilities
- Chainsaw Buckers or Fallers clear survey lines using global positioning system (GPS) technology
- Seismic Drillers drill holes, placing explosive charges to detonate and create seismic waves underground
- Shooters or Blasters prepare equipment and detonate the explosives
- Seismic Observers digitally record seismic readings
- Field Equipment Coordinators coordinate the movement of vehicles and equipment
- Troubleshooters repair seismic equipment
- Vibrating Equipment Operators operate vibrating equipment that generates seismic waves.
Education: A high school diploma is preferred by employers but not necessary. Previous experience in entry-level roles is typically required. However, for some roles, secondary training in an engineering technology, electronics or mechanics is an asset for those required to troubleshoot and repair seismic equipment.
Employment: This occupation works in both onshore and offshore environments and is employed by the oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Surveyor, Buried Facilities Locator, Chainsaw Operator, Seismic Driller, Seismic Equipment Operator
- Drilling Rig Labourer
- Service Rig Labourer
- Movement between specializations on the seismic crew
Some Overtime Required
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- Non-residential and residential building construction
- Utilities, including renewable energy
- Mining and quarrying
- Forestry and logging
Oil and gas services
8615, 7372, 8412
- Grade 10
- Buried Facilities Locator (BFL) certification is required to operate as a Utilities Locator.
- Chainsaw Proficiency - Level 1, 2 or 3
- Standard and emergency first aid
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
- Oilfield Driver Awareness
- A valid driver’s licence and a clean driving record may be required, depending on the company and the role.
- Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test