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Drilling and Service Rig Manager

Oil and gas well drilling and service rig managers supervise large crews of specialized workers on drilling and service rigs.

  • Avg. Salary $97,235.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.55
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 14,500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

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

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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Drilling and Service Rig Manager is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

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

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 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 More

Updated Dec 16, 2016

Drilling and service rig managers supervise rig operations and are responsible for safety on site. They are senior on-site company representatives for rig contractors.

In general, rig managers:

  • co-ordinate the work of rig crews (a drilling rig has two or three crews)
  • ensure that the entire drilling or well servicing operation runs smoothly, safely and efficiently
  • ensure that operations comply with company policies and government regulations
  • on drilling rigs, make arrangements to prepare area for drilling
  • on service rigs, coordinate the crew to drive the rig equipment to proper locations
  • organize the setting up and dismantling of rigs
  • ensure that emergency evacuation and medical procedures are posted and understood
  • ensure the emergency plans are understood and emergency drills are practiced.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Rig managers work in all types of weather conditions. Drilling and service rigs may operate year round but most rig activity occurs over the winter months.

Hours of work, location of the job and travel requirements vary with the company and the type of job contracted. In Alberta, oil and gas wells may be located in remote areas or near small communities. Most service rig crews travel on a daily basis, usually in a 160 kilometre radius of the service rig contractor's central location. Drilling rig crews move with the rig to new locations. This often involves being away from home for extended periods of time.

Rig managers often work long hours and may be required to be on-call. They also may be required to lift equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Rig managers need the following characteristics:

  • a safety conscious attitude
  • the ability to work quickly and think ahead to the next procedure
  • mechanical aptitude
  • organizational skills
  • communication skills
  • physical health
  • the ability to plan and direct the work of others.

They should enjoy coordinating the work of others, solving problems and working with tools, instruments and machinery.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Rig managers need a valid driver's licence and the following certificates:

  • Petroleum Safety Training (PST)
  • First Aid
  • 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) or Well Service Well Control (service rig managers)
  • Special Oilfield Boilers
  • Safety Management and Regulatory Awareness for Wellsite Supervision
  • Electronic General Safety Orientation (eGSO)
  • Detection and Control of Flammable Substance
  • Well Service Blowout Prevention.

Enform in Calgary and Nisku (near Edmonton) is the oil and gas industry's safety association and provides training for those employed on drilling and service rigs.

They also should be knowledgeable about environmental issues related to oil and gas well drilling.

Drilling rig managers may have earned a Rig Technician journeyman certificate while working in rig crew positions. Although Rig Technician journeyman certification is not a legal requirement for this occupation, rig managers are encouraged to apply for a journeyman certificate. For more information see the Rig Technician occupational profile.

Related Education

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

Apprenticeship Trades

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Drilling rig managers start out as leasehands or floorhands and work as motorhands, derrickhands and drillers before becoming rig managers. Service rig managers start as floorhands and work as derrickhands and operators or drillers before becoming rig managers. For more information, see the Drilling Rig Leasehand and Floorhand, Service Rig Personnel and Rig Technician occupational profiles.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 14,600 Albertans are employed in the Supervisors, oil and gas drilling and service occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 131 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As drilling and service rig managers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for drilling and service rig managers.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Drilling rig managers typically are paid a day rate. Depending on location and hours of service, service rig managers may be paid a day rate or an hourly rate. A drilling rig manager who works 180 to 200 days a year could realize potential earnings from $175,000 and $250,000 a year (2014 estimate). A service rig manager, who is not required to travel and work away from home in the same way a drilling rig manager is expected to, will earn somewhat less.

Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.31 $77.08 $40.96 $40.87
Overall $20.77 $80.60 $45.55 $45.00
Top $24.23 $90.14 $50.48 $48.25

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.

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.

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 Dec 16, 2016

Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC) website:

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) website:

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) employment information websites: and

Enform website:

Petroleum Human Resources (PHR) Careers in Oil & Gas (COG) website:


For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2015. 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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