- Business and Employment
Oil Rig Life: Oil Drilling Rig Jobs in Alberta
Alberta Drilling Rigs
Have you ever wondered what life is like on a oil rig? How many people are on a rig crew? What each rig hand is responsible for? I would like to help you answer as many questions about rig life as I can.
For many families, Alberta drilling rigs are an important part of life. If you are looking to make rig life part of your life this page will help you to learn what each person on the rig is responsible for and give you an idea of where to start looking for work on an Alberta drilling rig. Learn about everyone from leasehand to toolpusher. Each job is vital to keeping the rig operating smoothly.
Before beginning a career on the oil rigs check out what you will be doing and make an informed decision on what you would like to do.
This is an entry level position. As a leasehand you will learn how a drilling rig works and get an introduction in to oil rig life. If you are a hard worker and a learn quickly it is possible to be promoted quickly. If you are prepared for hard work then you are prepared to be a leasehand.
As a leasehand you will be responsible for most of the general labour on the rig. You will be doing things like unloading trucks, digging ditches and scrubbing the rig. As the bottom man you will also get to do things like cleaning garbage cans, making coffee and being the gofor for most little jobs
A leasehands job can get very demanding, the labour, being gone from home and extreme weather can be hard. However you ar rwarded with a good wage and plenty of room for advancement. Drilling rig leasehands earn anywhere from $45,000 to $65,000 a year depending on the company you work for, how much work your rig gets, and how hard you are willing to work.
Green oil rig leasehands are expected to do mant things and you will run in to the odd job that is just plain joking around. Calibrating the sheave, getting the vdoor key and maybe even finding the pipe stretcher.You need to keep your sense of humour, laugh it off and keep on working hard. A little fun on the job is what keeps rig life interesting.
There are many drilling rig jobs out there. Generally ,you get your first drilling rig job locally then you may decide to branch out to offshore rig jobs. Where ever you decide to go be safe and have fun living your rig life.
Equipment varies somewhat from rig to rig, but generally speaking a rig has a combination of diesel and electric engines. Motorhands spend most of their time on the engines but also work with the boilers, maintain other machinery and generally help out where ever they are needed.
This is an excellent opportunity if you enjoy mechanical work, are a team player and have a good eye for detail.
As with all drilling rig jobs, as motorman you will be required to work long hours in extreme weather conditions and generally away from home. It is a physically demanding job, however the pay is good and the possiblity for advancement is definetly there.
The uppermost section of the drilling string, is the responsibilty of a derrickman, when the oil rig is "tripping." As derrickman, you will spend alot of time up the derrick of the oil rig on the "monkey board" If you have a fear of heights this is a surefire way to get over it.
When you are not "tripping" you will be helping to operate the mud systems, mixing mud, assisting the driller along with whatever other jobs need to be done. To be a successful derrickman you need to be a team player and be prepared tp help out wherever you can.
Each driller is responsible for their own crew under the supervision of the toolpusher or rig manager. In order to be a successful driller you must first work your way up from leasehand through to derrickman. It is important that drillers are organized and able to work effeciently while supervising others.
In addition to supervising a crew, the Driller operates the oil rig's drilling and hoisting equipment, managing the rig floor, driller's console which includes brakes, monitors, throttles, clutches and many gauges. The readings and feedback obtained from the console enable the driller to make adjustments whenever necessary.
Drillers are generally required to obtain a variety of certifications and to contiune educating themselves in order to be able to advance in to higher paying jobs with more responsibility.
Toolpusher or Rig Manager
The toolpusher or rig manager, supervises all aspects of the oil rig and the crews. As the oil rig manage you will also be the leader for the rig crews. They will look to you for guidance, safety training and possibly even for advice in with personal problems.
A toolpusher will often work their way up from leasehand and you will aquire the knowledge to run the complete operation of the oil rig. As a good rig manager you should be able to handle any problem thrown at you and you can't be afriad to get in there and get your hands dirty with the rest of the crew.
Rig managers spend alot of time in contact with the oil rig crew and also in communication with the oil companies.
To be a good rig manager you must have leadership skills, good communication skills and be prepared to tell people what they need to do all while maintaining organization.
Although you can get started on the oil rigs with very little education you will be required to posses a few safety courses. These can include but are not limited to:
- First Aid
- Fall protection
- Loader operator
- Confined spaces
Most drilling companies will assist you in getting all the required courses.
Pay Rates for Alberta Drilling Rig Crews
Drilling rig crews in Alberta are generally paid hourly. Most companies pay based on CAODC recommendations although there are a few that offer a slightly higher amount.
- Driller makes $44.80/hr plus $2/hr more with rig tech premium
- Assistant Drillers make $40/hr plus $1.50/hr more with rig tech premium
- Derrickhand wage is $38/hr plus an extra $1.50/hr with rig tech premium
- Motorhand makes $33/hr with $1/hr more with rig tech premium
- Floorhand wage is $30.70/hr
- Leasehands make $28/hr
There is also LOA which is paid to help compensate for living cost while on the road. This is $140/day for non camp jobs or $50/day for camp jobs.