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Oil and Gas Well Loggers and Testers

Oil and gas well loggers and testers operate specialized tools, instruments and equipment to provide services related to oil and gas well drilling, completion and servicing.

  • Avg. Salary $79,584.00
  • Avg. Wage $39.89
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 26,500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Field Operator (Well Logging and Testing), Hydrocarbon Data Analyst, Hydrocarbon Mud Logger

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: Oil and Gas Well Loggers, Testers and Related Workers (8232.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers (I132) 
  • 2011 NOC: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (8232) 
  • 2016 NOC: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (8232) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Related Videos
Oil and Gas Well Tester (4:56)
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Interest Codes
The Oil and Gas Well Loggers and Testers is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Oil and Gas Well Loggers, Testers and Related Workers
OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling the operation of wirelines, unit controls, and equipment and instruments in mobile testing and logging units

METHODICAL

Interest in driving well service and wireline trucks to well sites

innovative

Interest in compiling information to direct the operations of wireline and unit controls to conduct required procedures and tests; may perform limited data interpretation

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

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Oil and gas well loggers and testers, and their helpers, co-operate closely with drilling and service rig crews. In general, loggers and testers:

  • Perform requested tests
  • Provide services designed to solve specific types of problems
  • Direct the related activities of helpers and drilling or service rig crew members

The occupational group to which oil and gas well loggers and testers belong includes several occupations. These include hydrocarbon mud loggers, coring operators, drill stem testers, pressure testers, wireline operators, and slickline operators.

Hydrocarbon mud loggers, also called hydrocarbon data analysts, analyze mud from the well to learn about rock formations. In general, they use instruments to:

  • Identify formation characteristics and qualities (from cuttings in the mud returning from down-hole drilling)
  • Determine whether or not traces of oil or gas are present in the mud
  • Analyze gases carried to the surface in drilling mud

Mud logging results help determine drill bit selection and drilling rates. They may indicate a need for core sampling or drill stem testing.

Coring operators take core samples. Geologists, geophysicists, and engineers analyze the samples to provide information about subsurface geology. This helps to determine the potential productivity of a well. In general, coring operators:

  • Choose and deliver the special bits required to obtain core samples
  • Direct drillers in core sample operations
  • Box and record samples for the well site geologist or to send to the operating company or a laboratory for evaluation

Drill stem testers perform tests on the fluid in rock formations. This helps to determine the potential productivity of an oil or gas well. With assistance from their helpers, they:

  • Drive trucks with the testing equipment to and from drilling sites
  • Assemble and dismantle testing tools
  • Supervise the activities of rig crews, who operate the rig equipment that lowers the testing tools into the well

Drill stem testers, who also are qualified to use equipment that pressure tests casing or tubing for leaks, may be called pressure testers.

Wireline and slickline operators lower special instruments or tools into wells on a slender, flexible, metal cable called a wireline or slickline. For more information, see the Wireline Operator and Slickline Operator occupational profiles.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Oil and gas well loggers and testers are most often on call 24 hours a day. They often work long hours. They are always under pressure to complete their work so the rig can continue its regular activity. The work environment around a rig is noisy, dirty, and hazardous. The work may require lifting heavy tools and equipment.

Hydrocarbon mud loggers work primarily in small, onsite laboratories during drilling operations. Coring operators, drill stem testers, wireline operators, and slickline operators work mostly outdoors. They often work in adverse weather conditions. They may work in isolated locations for long periods of time.

They are required to lift at least 25 kg.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Oil and gas well loggers and testers need:

  • Strength and stamina
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to visualize how an underground tool is functioning
  • Flexibility and emotional stamina
  • The ability to work well in a team environment and under pressure

They should enjoy working with equipment and machinery. They should be comfortable with clear rules and guidelines. They should like compiling information and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most loggers and testers are trained on the job. There is no minimum education requirement but many employers prefer high school graduates. Related courses, such as math, chemistry, geology, electronics, and mechanics are assets. Experience working on drilling or service rigs is also an asset. Loggers and testers need a valid driver’s licence. Those who operate heavy trucks must have a Class 1 or Class 3 operator’s licence with heavy truck and airbrake (Q) endorsement.

Most employers provide in-house training programs for new employees. They also provide ongoing courses, such as blowout prevention, for experienced employees. They may expect employees to become certified in:

  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Petroleum safety training
  • Transportation of dangerous goods
  • First aid
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Fall prevention safety
  • Confined space entry
  • Fall arrest
  • Rig rescue

Workers can gain technical knowledge and advance more quickly by taking courses in different aspects of drilling or service operations. Energy Safety Canada, formerly ENFORM, in Calgary and Nisku (near Edmonton), offers courses for those who work on drilling and service rigs. It is the industry’s safety association, but other organizations also offer this training.


Related Education

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

Designated Occupations

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Oil and gas well loggers and testers work for oil field service companies. Most new employees start out as helpers or junior operators. They are often hired initially as seasonal workers in winter. Opportunities to advance to more senior positions depend partly on the company. However, they also depend on the worker’s ability and potential to assume responsibility and supervise operations.

Oil and gas well loggers and testers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 8232: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers. In Alberta, 82% of people employed in this classification work in the Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction [pdf] industry.

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

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the I132: Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.7% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 154 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019
Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $42.00 $31.09 $28.37
Overall $20.17 $56.00 $39.89 $42.00
Top $21.92 $92.86 $55.41 $51.28

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
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

63%
63%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

32%
32%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

10%
10%

Vacancy Rate

6%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Driver Training
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canada’s Oil and Gas Entrepreneurs (EPAC) website: www.explorersandproducers.ca

Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC) website: www.cagc.ca

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) website: caodc.ca

Canadian Well Logging Society (CWLS) website: www.cwls.org

Careers in Oil and Gas (COG) website, Petroleum Labour Market Information (PetroLMI) Division of Energy Safety Canada: www.careersinoilandgas.com

Energy Safety Canada website: www.energysafetycanada.com

Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) website: www.psac.ca

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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