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How to Apply for Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta

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How to Apply for Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta: Oil is the largest exported product in the world. In 2019, crude petroleum accounted for 5.44% of global trade. Did you know that oil is Canada’s biggest export earner? This makes it a very big part of the Canadian economy.


There are over 60 active oil rigs in Canada, with Alberta producing a large majority of the oil and is responsible for employing over 128,180 employees. This makes Alberta the province to be in if you’re an oil rig worker.

Moreover, there are numerous opportunities in British Columbia and Alberta Canada for immigrants who want to build a career in the trades. While the price of oil in Canada has been affected by numerous factors, certified tradespeople are, however, expected to be in high demand.

Therefore, if you are interested in the oil and gas industry. Then, you should keep on reading this article to discover how to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta.

Benefits of Applying for Oil Rig Jobs

In Alberta’s most recent downturn, more than 60,000 people in the oil and gas industry lost their jobs. While Alberta’s energy sector once again exists in a precarious balance, according to the most recent stats employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.9% from 2017 to 2021 with plenty of jobs in Alberta still available.

Nowadays, more and more people from all walks of life are looking for jobs on an oil rig. While some are just entering the workforce, others are ready for a change of career. These jobs are in high demand for a variety of reasons:

  • Working on an oil rig offers the potential for a long career
  • Oil rig jobs come with a variety of emphases/ skillsets/ entry levelsworker on oil rig job
  • Working on an oil rig isn’t a typical 9-5 day job
  • Oil rig work is done in extended stretches, known as “hitches”—workers can spend six months at sea, then enjoy a six-month “vacation”
  • A career as an oil rig worker gives you the opportunity to work your way up from an entry-level position to a senior position
  • Many aspects of jobs on an oil rig are highly physical, perfect for employees who don’t relish spending all day sitting at a desk
  • Offshore oil rig work takes you all over the world
  • Working on an oil rig can bring big financial rewards; some oil rig jobs bring in more than $100,000 per year

Applying for an Oil Rig Job in Alberta, Canada

If you’re a foreigner who wants to work in Canada, you will need to apply for a Canadian work visa to legally work in the country. However, Canada is a great place to work for many reasons. Such as a high minimum wage and great employee benefits.

However, the first thing you need to know about the work permit is that there are two types that you could qualify for. They are as follows:

  • An open work permit: through this visa, you can work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. There aren’t any restrictions.
  • An employer-specific work permit: this particular type of visa, you’ll be restricted by factors such as where you can work, who you can work for, and the type of position.

Moreover, there are several Canadian immigration programs through which you can apply for each of these visas.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (Program for Open Work Permits)

This type of work visa or permit is for international students who have completed a study program in Canada from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience and work all over Canada and within any position.

However, your work visa would be valid for a period of anywhere between eight months to three years. This all depends on the length of your study program. This PGWP is the perfect opportunity to gain Canadian working experience which will open more doors of opportunities for you. Canadian work experience in National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0 or skill level A or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

Temporary Foreign Work Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was created to allow Canadian employers to hire foreign skilled workers to fill shortages in the Canadian labor force. This is a great visa if you want to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta. However, the exciting thing about the TFWP is that it also ensures you as a foreign national are treated fairly and are protected with workers’ rights.

Moreover, the following streams are available for employers to hire foreign workers:

  • Foreign Agricultural Workers;
  • High-Wage Workers;
  • In-Home Caregivers;
  • Low-Wage Workers;
  • Foreign Academics; and
  • Global Talent Stream.

However, Canadian employers will have to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to determine if they can hire a foreign worker to fill labor or skills shortages on a temporary basis.

What is a Labor Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.


A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit. However, to apply for a work permit, a worker needs a

  • job offer letter
  • contract
  • copy of the LMIA, and
  • the LMIA number

Types of Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta

Moreover, there are three to four crew workers on an oil rig who specialize in different roles. Here are the most common types of jobs for drilling oil effectively and safely.

Rig Manager

Contractors and supervisors in oil and gas drilling and services supervise and co-ordinate the activities in drilling for oil or gas, operating service rigs, or providing oil and gas well services. They are employed by drilling and well service contracting companies and petroleum producing companies. Contractors may be self-employed. Oil rig managers typically have certifications for first aid and specialized safety training. They also earn a whopping CAD $158, 000 per year on average.


Oil and gas well drillers and well servicers control the operation of drilling and hoisting equipment on drilling and service rigs and direct the activities of the rig crew under the supervision of the rig manager. Oil and gas well loggers, testers, and related workers operate specialized mechanical or electronic equipment, tools, or instruments to provide services in conjunction with good drilling, completion, or servicing. They are employed by drilling and well service contractors, petroleum producing companies, and well logging or testing companies. Drillers can make up to CAD $99, 000 per year, depending on their years of experience.


They operate drilling and service rig machinery as intermediate members of the rig crew. Oil and gas well services operators drive trucks and operate specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures, or gases to stimulate production. They are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum-producing companies. Derrickhands earn around $75, 000 per year.


Oil rigs have strong engines that power the drilling equipment and some other rig equipment. As the job title implies, Motorhands are in charge of keeping the engines running smoothly. Equipment varies somewhat from rig to rig, but more often than not a rig has a combination of diesel and electric engines.

Motorhands operate drilling and service rig machinery as intermediate members of the rig crew. Oil and gas well services operators drive trucks and operate specialized hydraulic pumping systems to place cement in wells or to treat wells with chemicals, sand mixtures, or gases to stimulate production. They are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum-producing companies. Motorhands should have a knack for mechanics and experience with this type of equipment. They can earn approximately CAD $71, 325 per year.

Roughnecks and Roustabouts

Oil and gas drilling, servicing, and related laborers carry out a variety of general laboring duties and operate equipment to assist in the drilling and servicing of oil and gas wells. This unit group also includes laborers who assist in geophysical prospecting for oil and gas. They are employed by drilling and well servicing contractors and by petroleum-producing companies.

Moreover, the position allows you to get an insight into the oil and gas industry to see in which area you’d like to specialize if you want to move up in the ranks. Roughnecks and Roustabout can earn around CAD $40, 000 per year.

Tips on Getting Hired for Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta

Every drilling company is different. However, there are a few constant elements in how to get a job on an oil rig.

  • Know what you want out of your career. Many companies will have online quizzes that can help you assess your skills and interests to find the oil rig job that would be the best fit for you.
  • All oil rig jobs require passing a safety certificate. Different states will have different requirements for the safety certification.
  • Depending on the company, lack of experience or education is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Letters of recommendation, personal statements, and character assessments may be part of the recruitment process where you can show your potential for an oil rig career.
  • Know what you’re getting into. Once you get into an interview for a job on an oil rig. The recruiters will want to know that you are prepared to handle the conditions and circumstances of the job. Moreover, knowing that information in advance will put you in a better position to nail the interview and get the job offer.

See Also: Work in Canada as a Real Estate Agent

Final Thoughts

Working in Alberta especially is a great choice because of its booming economic growth. So to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta just makes sense. Alberta has steadily become one of the best places in Canada to immigrate as a foreign national. Moreover, the province is known as being the prosperous province of today and is well-known for its high standard of living.

In conclusion, keep in mind that this career path is not for everyone. Many jobs on an oil rig involve work that is highly physical and requires you to maintain optimal health and fitness in order to perform your duties well. Even those jobs that are more technical in nature require the ability to perform well under stress.

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