Entry Senior

Measurement While Drilling (MWD) Specialist

Photo courtesy of Savanna Energy Services

About This Career

Measurement While Drilling (MWD) Specialists collect and interpret data that measures the trajectory of a horizontal oil or gas well as it is being drilled. Information provided by MWD Specialists provides decision-making support and allows Directional Drillers to steer the drilling operation and conform to a drilling plan.  

MWD Specialists must be able to lift the MWD tool, safely rig in and operate the equipment, perform day-to-day inspections, servicing and maintenance of equipment, and complete all required paperwork accurately and on-time.

Education: A post-secondary diploma in an applied science, engineering, geology, petroleum or related discipline is typically required. Computer literacy is also required.

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: Measurement While Drilling Operator

Work Activities
Applying Health and Safety Principles
Using and maintaining the required safety equipment (PPE).
Identifying, preventing and reporting potential hazards.
Participating in regular on-site and off-site safety meetings and training sessions.
Participating in on-site emergency response drills.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Programming MWD equipment.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Coordinating with other services, consultants and client personnel during operations.
Documenting/Recording Information
Maintaining operational logs, records and job sheets for control and invoicing purposes.
Getting Information
Conducting post-operations tests once equipment is pulled out of the wellbore.
Handling and Moving Objects
Loading MWD equipment on vehicles in accordance with applicable regulations.
Assembling MWD tools as part of the bottom hole assembly (BHA).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures or Materials
Performing pre-operational checks to ensure equipment meets specifications.
Performing a daily inspection of MWD equipment.
Interacting With Computers
Uploading files for MWD equipment.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Interpreting MWD data and providing to geologists, drillers, management or the client, as required.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources
Maintaining an inventory of tools, spares and consumables necessary for MWD operations.
Tracking equipment hours to ensure the preventative maintenance schedule is maintained.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring operations to discover faults/problems and adjusting to minimize operational impacts.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices or Equipment
Operating survey tools and systems.
Operating tensor brand steering tool equipment, wet-connect systems and roll testing probes.
Performing Administrative Activities
Preparing job tickets, daily reporting and end-of-well reports.
Completing time sheets and other company documentation per company policies.
Processing Information
Collecting MWD data and providing to geologists, drillers, management or the client, as required.
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others
Advising on necessary repairs to equipment.
Quality Assurance
Ensuring the integrity of data for the current job.
Performing quality control checks on collection equipment and data during operations.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Maintaining survey tools and systems.
Solving Problems and Making Decisions
Performing equipment troubleshooting and maintenance.
Operation Monitoring
Document Use
Critical Thinking
Computer use
Career Path
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Working Conditions
  • Steeringwheel
    Driving Required
  • Variable weather
    Inclement Weather
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Industrial excavator
    Active Machinery
  • Arrow
    Shift Work
  • Load
    Heavy Lifting
  • Standing
    Long Periods of Standing
  • Physical
    Physically Demanding
  • Longshifts
    Long Shifts
Transferable Sectors
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Utilities, including renewable energy
Job Details

Job Category



Oil and gas services



Qualifications + Experience


  • Post-secondary diploma


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • H2S Alive


  • Class 5 driver's licence and a clean driving record

Additional Requirements:

  • Ability to pass a pre-employment physical assessment and drug test