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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

Coring Operator, Drill Stem Tester, Field Operator (Well Logging and Testing), Hydrocarbon Data Analyst, Hydrocarbon Mud Logger, Pressure Tester, Slickline Operator, Wireline Operator

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

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
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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

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


Interest in driving well service and wireline trucks to well sites


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

Updated Dec 16, 2016

Oil and gas well loggers and testers, and their helpers, work in close co-operation 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.

Hydrocarbon mud loggers, also called hydrocarbon data analysts, analyze mud from the well to obtain information 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, and may indicate a need for core sampling or drill stem testing.

Coring operators take core samples that are analyzed by geologists, geophysicists and engineers to provide additional information about subsurface geology (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 to help 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 Dec 16, 2016

Oil and gas well loggers and testers usually are on call 24 hours a day. They often work long hours and always are 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 tools and equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms.

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

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

Oil and gas well loggers and testers need the following characteristics:

  • physical strength and stamina
  • mechanical aptitude 
  • good 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, having clear rules and guidelines for their work, and compiling information and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Most loggers and testers are trained on the job. There is no minimum education requirement but many employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Related courses (for example, math, chemistry, geology, electronics, mechanics) and experience working on drilling or service rigs are definite assets. A valid driver's licence often is required. Loggers and testers who operate heavy trucks must have an appropriate Class 1 or Class 3 operator's licence with heavy truck endorsement.

Employers generally provide in-house training programs for new employees and ongoing courses for experienced employees. They may require employees to obtain certificates such as:

  • Petroleum Safety Training (PST)
  • first aid
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • blowout prevention
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) 
  • hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • fall prevention safety
  • confined space entry.

It is possible to gain technical knowledge and advance more quickly by taking courses in different aspects of drilling or service operations. Enform in Calgary and Nisku (near Edmonton) offers courses for those employed on drilling and service rigs as well as pre-employment courses for those wanting to gain experience prior to working in the oil and gas industry.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) offer a six level Well Testing Training certificate program by correspondence. The program is self-paced; students are allowed one year to complete each level.

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 Dec 16, 2016

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Oil and gas well loggers and testers are employed by oil field service companies. New employees usually begin as helpers or junior operators and often are hired initially as seasonal workers for the winter months. Opportunities to advance to more senior positions depend on the company and 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 in this occupation will be 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 (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.

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.

In 2014, the Petroleum Human Resources Council indicated more than 20% of the workforce in the oil and gas industry is eligible for retirement, contributing to the labour demand required to support the industry.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

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
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

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
  • Driver Training
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Canada's Oil and Gas Entrepreneurs (EPAC) website:

Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC) website:

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) website:

Canadian Well Logging Society (CWLS) website:

Enform website:

Petroleum Human Resources Council (PHRC) Careers in Oil and Gas website:

Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) 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 24, 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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