Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit alberta.ca for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Apprenticeship

Snubbing Services Operators and Supervisors

Snubbing services operators and supervisors insert and remove drill pipe, tubing and specialized equipment into and from oil and gas wells when blowout preventers are closed to contain well pressure.

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 Drillers and Well Servicers (8232.1);  Oil and Gas Well Services Operators (8412.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers (I132);  Oil and Gas Well Drilling Workers and Services Operators (I142) 
  • 2011 NOC: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (8232);  Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators (8412) 
  • 2016 NOC: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (8232);  Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators (8412) 
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 Drillers and Well Servicers

2006 NOC: 8232.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling the operations of drilling and service rig drilling and hoisting machinery

DIRECTIVE

Interest in speaking with members of rig crew to direct them in setting up rigs, drilling and completing and servicing oil and gas exploration and producing wells

methodical

Interest in compiling information to maintain records of drilling and servicing operations

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

Oil and Gas Well Services Operators

2006 NOC: 8412.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
DIRECTIVE

Interest in driving trucks to well sites and in operating systems to pump chemicals, gases, sand, cement and other materials into wells

METHODICAL

Interest in monitoring pressure, density, rate and concentration during pumping operations

innovative

Interest in copying information to read gauges to interpret conditions and adjust pumping procedures; may mix chemicals and cement

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, 2020

Snubbing services are specialized oil and gas well maintenance functions that require working with a well under pressure. They include:

  • Completing (assembling and inserting production pipe into wells to enable well production)
  • Fishing (using specialized tools and equipment to remove tools, debris, sand or fill from a well)
  • Lubricating (fitting and removing pressure-control equipment to the wellhead to enable specialized tools to be used in the well)
  • Staging (isolating a specialized tool between blowout preventers to enable the tool to be used in the well)
  • Stripping on or off (placing specialized equipment over production pipe to enable specialized equipment or tools to be used in the well)

In Alberta, this is a designated occupation with the following levels:

  • Assistant operator is an entry-level position, which provides support and assists with pre- and post-job snubbing operations.
  • Operator 1 works in well environments where the shut in pressure is less than 10 MPa and the wellbore gas or fluid is sweet. Snubbing services involve single zone (producing section or formation of a well) work overs and completions, including jobs where the tubing can be moved through the well without staging couplings or tool joints.
  • Operator 2 works in more complex medium pressure well environments that are sweet or sour, where the shut in pressure is between 10 and 21 MPa. Snubbing services involve sand cleanouts, lubricating, fishing, multi zone or dual string completions.
  • Operator 3 works in even more complex high-pressure well environments. The gas or fluid may be sweet, sour or critical sour. At this level, operators can work on wells with a shut in pressure greater than 21 MPa. Snubbing services may involve operations using multiple blow out preventers.
  • Supervisor 1 oversees operations in medium pressure well environments, sweet or sour, with shut in pressure less than 21 MPa. Level 1 supervisors manage wellsite performance and ensure a healthy and safe work environment while following industry practices and implementing environmental policies.
  • Supervisor 2 oversees operations in high-pressure (greater than 21 MPa) well environments that may include critical sour gas and fluids. Level 2 supervisors are responsible for the snubbing crew, management of wellsite performance and worksite safety.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Snubbing services are conducted 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Snubbing services operators work mainly outdoors, sometimes in adverse weather conditions. The work environment around a well site can be noisy and dirty.

Safety is very important in this occupation because the work is performed on wells that are under pressure and may contain hydrogen sulphide. The work is physically demanding and involves handling tools and equipment that weigh up to 25 kilograms.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Snubbing services operators and supervisors need:

  • Initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Strength and stamina
  • Communication skills (to understand and give clear, concise directions)
  • Interpersonal skills for working with others and developing relationships with clients
  • Analytical and decision making skills
  • The ability to work under pressure

They should enjoy operating machinery and complex equipment, having clear rules and guidelines for their work, 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 43 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 04, 2021 and Sep 29, 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
Teleworking Information: On the road job
Long term benefits: Life insurance
Personal Suitability: Team player
Health benefits: Disability benefits
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Dependability

Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators

2011 NOC: 8412

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 62 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 04, 2021 and Sep 29, 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.
Personal Suitability: Team player
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Health benefits: Vision care benefits
Long term benefits: Life insurance
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Long term benefits: Group insurance benefits
Read gauges to interpret conditions and adjust pumping procedure
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Designated Occupation

Snubbing services operators and supervisors are trained on the job. There are no standard education requirements but employers generally prefer applicants with a high school diploma or who have related training or experience.

To access and work in the oil and gas industry, employees must complete the Common Safety Orientation (CSO) course from Energy Safety Canada.

Snubbing services operator is a designated trade in Alberta. Certification is not required to work, but trainees can apply to Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training for journeyperson certification. Certification requires completion of a petroleum competency program managed by Energy Safety Canada.

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, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Snubbing Services Operators and Supervisors

Snubbing services operators and supervisors insert and remove drill pipe, tubing and specialized equipment into and from oil and gas wells when blowout preventers are closed to contain well pressure. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

In Alberta, government-legislated certification is available for snubbing services operators and supervisors.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Snubbing Services Operators and Supervisors.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Contractors in the upstream petroleum industry employ snubbing services operators and supervisors. Newly hired individuals usually start in the entry-level position of assistant operator. With experience, they may become operators at a higher level and advance to supervisor positions.

In Alberta, snubbing services operators and supervisors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification:

  • 8232: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
  • 8412: Oil and gas well drilling workers and services operators

80% of people employed in the Oil and gas well drilling workers and services operators occupational group work in the Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction [pdf] industry.

82% of people employed in the Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers occupational group 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 (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • 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.

In Alberta, the 8412: Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators 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, 59 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

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 Mar 31, 2020

Incomes for snubbing services operators and supervisors range from $60,000 a year to $180,000 a year (2019 estimates).

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%

Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators

2016 NOC: 8412
Average Wage
$33.54
Per Hour
Average Salary
$65,187.00
Per Year
Average Hours
42.2
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
10.7
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 8412 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 $17.69 $48.08 $29.09 $28.00
Overall $21.72 $55.52 $33.54 $32.00
Top $26.50 $66.67 $37.55 $36.00

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

ALL INDUSTRIES
Oil & Gas Extraction
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
51%
51%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
42%
42%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
10%
10%
Vacancy Rate
7%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Energy Safety Canada website: www.energysafetycanada.com

PetroLMI, Careers in Oil and Gas (COG) website: careersinoilandgas.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, 2020. 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.

Was this page useful?
Top