Contractors and Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Services (NOC 8222)

Last updated: 2 September 2020

If you are interested in working as a Supervisor in Oil, Gas Drilling or Service in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive.

You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

Why your employment prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • The Petroleum Services Association of Canada forecasts a shortage of skilled and experienced oil and gas industry workers over the next decade.
  • In addition, many people will be retiring over the coming decade. The number of people retiring already outnumbers those joining the industry today.
  • This occupation is employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.
  • Employment in the oil industry is largely dependent on market prices. As a result, price increases can cause higher employment numbers than forecasted. When prices are good, specialized and high-tech drillers are in great demand.

Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

While employment prospects are considered to be good nationally, the following cities and provinces listed below have a particularly high demand for supervisors in oil, gas drilling and service.

British Columbia:

  • This is a very small occupational group, with a full-time salary that is above the provincial average (reflecting the nature of the work and the generally higher earnings in the resource sector).
  • Job Futures BC projected 180 new jobs between 2006 and 2011.
  • New job growth will be largely due to rising prices and demand for energy commodities, which prompts companies to increase their workforces to support increased production and exploration activity.
  • Employment is concentrated near the province's petroleum resources, which are mostly in northern B.C.
  • 42% of workers in this occupation work in North Coast, Nechako and Northeast regions of B.C.
  • Greater Sierra is a large oil and gas field in northeastern B.C., located east and north from Fort Nelson, where drilling takes place during the winter months. Companies with projects in Greater Sierra that employ workers in this occupation include: Devon Energy, EnCana Corporation, Canadian Natural Resources and Petro-Canada.


  • The Oil and Gas Extraction Industry currently employs 145,500 in Alberta, and employment is expected to increase to 148,500 by 2013.
  • The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) projected that Alberta’s crude oil production will increase from 1.7 million barrels a day in 2008 to 2.3 million in 2013. Most of the increase will come from oil sands production. This growth in the industry, especially in the oil sands region will contribute to increased employment for supervisors in oil and gas.

Fort McMurray, Alberta

  • Fort McMurray sits on the edge of the largest oil reserves outside of Saudi Arabia and is the center of the Athabasca Oil Sands region.
  • The Calgary-based Petroleum Human Resources Council predicts Alberta's oil sands alone will need about 5,250 new people by 2012, in addition to the 2,780 working there now.
  • The oil sands sector will be the greatest source of new employment within the oil and gas industry.
  • Some of the many companies now hiring include: Suncor Energy, Nexen Inc - Long Lake Project, Canadian Natural Resources, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and AMEC Earth & Environmental.

Lloydminster, Alberta

  • The local economy is driven primarily by the booming petroleum industry.
  • Potential employers include: Husky Energy, Devon Canada Corporation, Nexen Canada Ltd, and Western Plains Petroleum Ltd.


  • This is a fairly large occupational group in Saskatchewan. According to Statistics Canada, there were more than 1,400 supervisors in mining, oil and gas in the province in 2005.
  • Over 40% of all supervisors were at least 45 years of age in 2006. As a result, demand will increase for this occupation with many older supervisors retiring in the next few years.


  • Manitoba has a strong Petroleum Sector, employing many workers in this occupation.
  • Potential employers include: Tundra Oil And Gas Ltd., Enerplus ECT Resources Ltd., EOG Resources Canada Inc., Rideau Petroleums Ltd., Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Petrofund Corp., Kiwi Resources Ltd., and Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • Supervisors in oil and gas drilling and service are employed in all regions of the province. However, a larger portion is employed in the Eastern region.
  • Employment for this occupation is within the Mining/Oil and Gas Construction industry.
  • Individuals employed in this occupation are older than average. This will result in an increase in jobs due to retirement over the next 5 years.
  • Development of new fields such as Hebron Ben-Nevis and enhanced oil recovery methods, improvements in technology, new capital projects and increased exploration activity (onshore and offshore) should all increase employment opportunities int he province.
  • Recently a group of multinational oil companies led by Chevron created the $6-billion Hebron offshore oil development.
  • Potential employers include: Noble Drilling (Canada) Ltd., Vulcan Mineral Inc., Deer Lake Oil and Gas Inc., Petro-Canada and Chevron.

Nova Scotia:

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

  • Currently the chances of supervisors in oil and gas drilling finding employment are limited because only a small number of people in this occupation are employed in the local area.
  • Exploration for natural gas continues offshore of Nova Scotia, and while there are prospects for growth, activity is limited to date.
  • Gas production at the Sable Offshore Energy Project has been successful for Nova Scotia Energy Sector, and EnCana Corp. announced it intends to go ahead with the $700-million Deep Panuke natural gas operation off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Duties for Contractors and Supervisors in Oil and Gas Drilling and Services

Supervisors in this group supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers engaged in drilling for oil or gas, operating service rigs, or providing oil and gas well services. They are employed by drilling and well service contractors and by petroleum producing companies.

Description of Main Duties:

  • Supervise, co-ordinate and schedule the activities of workers who drill for oil and gas, operate service rigs or provide oil and gas well services
  • Establish methods to meet work schedules and co-ordinate work activities with other departments
  • Requisition materials and supplies
  • Resolve work problems and recommend measures to improve productivity
  • Train workers in job duties, safety procedures and company policies
  • Recommend personnel actions such as hirings and promotions
  • Prepare production and other reports
  • May set up machines and equipment.

Example job titles for Contractors and Supervisors in Oil and Gas Drilling and Services:

  • assistant offshore drilling rig superintendent
  • assistant platform superintendent
  • assistant superintendent, offshore drilling rig
  • assistant toolpusher – offshore drilling rig
  • field supervisor, oil well servicing
  • foreman/woman, oil and gas well drilling
  • foreman/woman, oil and natural gas well servicing
  • fracturing supervisor
  • fracturing supervisor – oil field services
  • multi-service operator
  • multi-service operator – oil field services
  • offshore drilling rig superintendent
  • oil and gas drilling foreman/woman
  • oil and natural gas well servicing foreman/woman
  • oil well services field supervisor
  • platform superintendent – oil and gas drilling
  • rig manager
  • rig manager – oil and gas drilling
  • supervisor, well services crew – oil field services
  • toolpusher
  • toolpusher – offshore drilling rig
  • toolpusher – oil and gas well
  • well services crew supervisor
  • well services crew supervisor – oil and gas drilling
  • well services crew supervisor – oil field services
  • wireline field supervisor – oil field services

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