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Apprenticeship / Trades

Rig Technician

Rig technicians operate oil and gas drilling rigs. There are three stages of journeyperson certification in Alberta: a Rig Technician 1 can perform motorhand tasks, a Rig Technician 2 can perform motorhand or derrickhand tasks, and a Rig Technician 3 can perform motorhand, derrickhand or driller tasks. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.


Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (


Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Rig Technician Trade Regulation, you must have a certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be a registered apprentice to perform motorhand, derrickhand or driller tasks on oil and gas drilling rigs in Alberta.

What You Need

The full term of apprenticeship is three years (three 12 month periods) with 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and four weeks (30 hours per week) of technical training in each year. Technical and on-the-job training are cumulative for the three stages of certification. However, apprentices may opt out of the Rig Technician 3 program after completing one or more periods and qualify for the stage of certification related to the highest period completed. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Rig technicians from other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

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