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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.

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) 
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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.

Oil and Gas Well Loggers, Testers and Related Workers

2006 NOC: 8232.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

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

Abilities

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

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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

2011 NOC: 8232

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 41 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 04, 2021 and Sep 28, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Dental plan
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Vision care benefits
Personal Suitability: Team player
Teleworking Information: On the road job
Long term benefits: Life insurance
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Health benefits: Disability benefits
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

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

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 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 8232: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 332 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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.

Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

2016 NOC: 8232
Average Wage
$40.40
Per Hour
Average Salary
$78,201.00
Per Year
Average Hours
41.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
10.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 8232 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
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.63 $50.30 $33.53 $30.00
Overall $27.33 $50.00 $40.40 $42.00
Top $28.00 $86.54 $57.67 $51.96

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
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
42%
42%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
40%
40%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
7%
7%
Vacancy Rate
4%
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

Energy Safety Canada website: www.energysafetycanada.com

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

PetroLMI, Career in Oil and Gas (COG) website: careersinoilandgas.com

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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