Entry Senior

Power Tong Operator

Photo courtesy of Savanna Energy Services

About This Career

Power Tong Operators control the equipment that threads sections of drill casing into the wellbore.  As a member of the oilfield well services team, they are responsible for operating power tongs, torque measuring equipment and tube/casing handling equipment at the well site. Casing is required to maintain an oil or gas well’s structural integrity, prevent the cross-contamination of water with other fluids and control well pressure during the drilling, production and maintenance of the well.

Power Tong Operators must be able to transport equipment to and from the well location, 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 high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required. Basic mechanical skills and heavy hauling or off-road driving experience are assets to the job.

Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed by the oil and gas services sector of the oil and gas industry.

Example titles: n/a

Work Activities
Applying Health and Safety Principles
Reporting potential hazards to the Wellsite Supervisor.
Adhering to safety standards for the well, yard and shop at all times.
Participating in emergency response drills.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers or Subordinates
Communicating with other members of the well services crew to ensure the proper placement and operation of conventional casing tools and equipment.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using power tongs to move and connect the drill pipe and/or casing during drilling operations.
Documenting/Recording Information
Completing the necessary logs and reports for vehicle use.
Handling and Moving Objects
Coating pipe threads to ensure the proper seal is made and to prevent corrosion.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures or Material
Performing daily inspections of the power tongs and pipe handling equipment.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Interpreting readings from torque-measuring equipment to ensure pipe sections are properly connected.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources
Maintaining an inventory of equipment, spare parts and consumables.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices or Equipment
Operating the vehicles used for transporting equipment to the job site.
Performing Administrative Activities
Completing all the necessary time sheets, job sheets and other paperwork for billing purposes.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Performing preventative maintenance on power tongs and pipe handling equipment in accordance with company procedures.
Maintaining the safety and function of all equipment, including personal protective gear.
Performing basic repair and maintenance tasks on assigned equipment.
Solving Problems and Making Decisions
Troubleshooting the power tongs and pipe handling equipment, and advising maintenance personnel on the necessary repairs.
Public Safety and Security
Equipment Maintenance
Operation Monitoring
Operation and Control
Career Path
  • Field Dispatcher
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  • Technical Salesperson
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Working Conditions
  • Steeringwheel
    Driving Required
  • Variable weather
    Inclement Weather
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Industrial excavator
    Active Machinery
  • Standing
    Long Periods of Standing
  • Physical
    Physically Demanding
  • Longshifts
    Long Shifts
Transferable Sectors
  • Forestry and logging
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Truck transportation
Job Details

Job Category



Oil and gas services



Qualifications + Experience


  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • H2S Alive
  • Oilfield Driver Awareness


  • Class 1 licence (with air brake endorsement) and a clean driving record

Additional Requirements:

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