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Drilling and Service Rig Manager

Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Service Rig Manager, Service Rig Manager, Toolpusher

Also Known As

Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Service Rig Manager, Service Rig Manager, Toolpusher

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service (8222) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service (I122) 
  • 2011 NOC: Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (8222) 
  • 2016 NOC: Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (8222) 
  • 2021 NOC: Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (82021) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

2006 NOC: 8222

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in supervising the activities of workers who drill for oil and gas, operate service rigs and provide oil and gas well services; and in requisitioning materials and supplies


Interest in co-ordinating and scheduling the activities of workers; and in resolving work problems


Interest in understanding the functioning of equipment and machinery used in oil and gas drilling and services; may set up machines and equipment

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Updated Feb 12, 2021

Drilling and service rig managers supervise oil and gas rig operations. They are responsible for safety on site. They act as the senior onsite representatives for rig contractors.

In general, rig managers:

  • Manage the work of rig crews with a co-ordinator and field supervisor (a drilling rig has 2 or 3 crews)
  • Make sure the entire drilling or well-servicing operation runs smoothly, safely, and efficiently
  • Make sure operations comply with company policies and government regulations
  • Prepare areas for drilling (on drilling rigs)
  • Co-ordinate the crew to drive the rig equipment to proper locations (on service rigs)
  • Organize the setup and take-down of rigs
  • Make sure emergency evacuation and medical procedures are posted and understood
  • Make sure workers practice emergency drills and understand emergency plans
Working Conditions
Updated Feb 12, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Rig managers work in all types of weather. Drilling and service rigs may run year-round, but most rig activity takes place in winter. Summer activity on service rigs is slower.

Work hours, job location, and travel requirements vary, depending on the company and type of job. Rig managers often work long hours. They may need to be on call.

Larger operations often employ 2 drilling rig managers. They split the day into 12-hour shifts. They are always on call and live at the rig site.

A rig manager who is solely in charge must be at the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This can go on for periods no less than 3 weeks at a time.

In Alberta, oil and gas wells may be in remote areas or near small communities. Most service rig crews travel daily. They usually travel in a 160-kilometre radius of the service rig contractor’s central location. Drilling rig crews move with the rig to new locations. This can mean being away from home for long periods.

Traits & Skills
Updated Feb 12, 2021

Rig managers need:

  • A safety-conscious attitude
  • The ability to work quickly
  • The ability to think ahead to the next procedure
  • Organizational skills
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to plan and direct the work of others
  • Mechanical aptitude

They should enjoy solving problems. They should like working with tools, instruments, and machinery. They should be comfortable co-ordinating the work of others. They should enjoy training and teaching people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 12, 2021
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Rig managers need a valid driver’s licence with air brake endorsements on service rigs. They also need the following certificates. These may be earned through in-house training:

  • Petroleum Safety Training (PST)
  • Standard First Aid and CPR (2-day course)
  • Fall Protection and Rig Rescue
  • H2S Alive (specialized hydrogen sulfide training for rig crews)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
  • Waste Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS)
  • Second Line Well Control (drilling rig managers), Well Service Well Control (service rig managers), or equivalent training from the International Well Control Forum (IWCF) and International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)
  • Special Oilfield Boilers
  • Safety Management and Regulatory Awareness for Wellsite Supervision
  • Common Safety Orientation (CSO)
  • Detection and Control of Flammable Substances
  • Well Service Blowout Prevention

Energy Safety Canada provides training for those who work on drilling and service rigs. Although they are the industry’s safety association, other organizations also offer this training.

Rig managers should also know about the environmental issues related to oil and gas well drilling.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 12, 2021

Drilling and service rig managers begin as drilling and service rig personnel. A conscientious, hard-working person with leadership skills can move from rig labourer to rig manager in 8 to 10 years.

Rig managers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 8222: Oil and gas drilling and service supervisors. In Alberta, 82% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 8222: Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 176 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 12, 2021

Drilling rig managers typically are paid a day rate.

Service rig managers may be paid a day rate or an hourly rate, depending on location and hours of service. Service rig managers earn somewhat less than drilling rig managers. This is because they are not required to travel and work away from home as drilling rig managers do.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services

2016 NOC: 8222
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 8222 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $22.38 $68.21 $41.14 $34.99
Overall $30.68 $113.07 $54.60 $45.00
Top $33.00 $113.07 $60.21 $50.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Oil & Gas Extraction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Feb 12, 2021

Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC) website:

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) website:

Energy Safety Canada website:

PetroLMI, Careers in Oil and Gas (COG) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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