How to Become an Offshore Driller in Canada

by Usama Chaudry on May 31, 2022

Offshore drilling jobs include drilling for petroleum and other minerals, which is a complex procedure involving employees, machinery, and safety precautions.

The offshore driller is one of the most crucial members of a rig’s crew and is in charge of managing drilling operations and assuring the safety of the oil rig workers.

Discovering how to become an offshore driller might give you a better idea if this is the right career choice.

This blog post will go over the steps to becoming an offshore driller, the educational requirements, and the skills you’ll require to get your foot into an offshore oil rig company.

Furthermore, we will also let you know about the average oil rig driller’s salary and how you can secure an offshore oil rig job in Canada.

Steps to Become an Offshore Driller

You need to follow these steps to become an offshore driller in Canada:

  1. Complete high school education
  2. Obtain tertiary education
  3. Earn experience through apprenticeship
  4. Make a resume
  5. Apply for offshore drilling jobs

1. Complete High School Education

A high school diploma is required to become an offshore driller, and most provinces demand you to be at least 18 years old. Aside from intellect, acquiring a high school education signifies a basic level of accountability that offshore oil rig companies seek in all of their employees.

2. Obtain Tertiary Education

Although most organizations accept a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree can provide numerous benefits. Prominent offshore oil rig companies that deal with more complicated drilling procedures may prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline.

For instance, you can pursue a degree in mechanical or industrial engineering. This can also assist you in progressing to the position of oil rig driller more swiftly because you have a better understanding of how the instruments and oil wells operate.

3. Earn Experience Through Apprenticeship

Field experience is required to progress to the rank of oil rig driller. Without a tertiary education, several employees start their careers on the rig. Therefore, it is crucial to acquire expertise and experience in the industry. Typically, oil drillers begin their careers as oil rig workers. They can then move up to higher ranks such as roustabout, derrick hand, or assistant driller by gaining experience.

In addition, challenging situations and the severe repercussions of a massive blunder compel offshore oil rig companies to only engage seasoned oil rig workers to function offshore. So, you need to earn a minimum of two to three years of experience on a land rig by enrolling in an apprenticeship program, which will help you build experience and skills.

4. Make a Resume

In most cases, offshore oil rig companies require resumes for the job application procedure. A resume is a brief document that outlines a person’s skills and experience. Professional experience, competencies, relevant education, and any specific credentials are all essential facts to mention on your resume as an oil rig worker.

Because most hiring managers demand a one-page resume, make sure you choose to mention only the most necessary qualifications. Tailor your CV to match the position you seek to boost your prospects of landing the offshore oil rig job.

Make sure you’re explicit about your prior work experience and how it can benefit the new offshore oil rig company.

5. Apply for Offshore Drilling Jobs

You can apply for offshore drilling jobs after you’re done producing a resume. Offshore drillers function on offshore oil wells and can be employed by offshore oil rig companies, energy corporations, or governmental organizations.

An oil rig driller can benefit from his education and abilities in other relevant industries, such as mining or construction. Online employment websites can help you find open offshore driller jobs in your region. Letting your friends and relatives know that you’re looking for employment opportunities can also assist you in landing an offshore oil rig job.

Skills Required for Offshore Driller

Here is a list of the skills and competencies required to become an offshore driller:

Observation Skills

Oil rig drillers inspect rig equipment regularly to verify that it is in safe working order. That’s why oil rig workers must have excellent observational skills to detect flaws or issues before they cause accidents. They also require good observation abilities to spot challenges and rapidly rectify them during activities.

Leadership Skills

The majority of the rig is overseen by an oil rig driller, who reports only to the rig manager. Offshore drillers frequently give commands and manage other workers. So they need to possess leadership qualities to gain control and exert influence over other employees.

Safety Consciousness

Due to heavy machinery and combustibles, functioning on the rig can be perilous. For this reason, oil rig drillers need to be cautious of the workplace surroundings to keep an eye on their staff members and empower them to be aware of their safety. They must also keep up with evolving safety regulations and trends.

Technical Skills

Oil rig workers are responsible for operating, inspecting, and servicing many types of machinery. Oil rig drillers must have phenomenal technical abilities to carry out their responsibilities and analyze rig machinery to detect any flaws. This is necessary to prevent oil well mishaps or emergencies.

Average Salary of Offshore Driller

The average salary of an offshore driller is CAD 119,500 per year in Canada, which translates to CAD 61.28 per hour.

Entry-level offshore drilling jobs have a starting salary of CAD 84,416 per year or CAD 43.29 per hour. On the other hand, the most experienced oil rig drillers earn up to CAD 220,263 per year or CAD 113 per hour.

Educational Requirements for Offshore Driller

Following are the educational requirements you have to fulfill to become an offshore driller:

  • Completion of secondary education.
  • Earning a high school diploma or GED.
  • Obtaining a four-year bachelor’s or associate’s degree in drilling.
  • Acquiring a master’s degree in similar subjects.
  • Completion of Fall Arrest Protection Training Course.
  • Attaining Transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) Certification
  • Gaining Well Service Blowout Prevention Certification.

How to Get a Job as an Offshore Driller in Canada

Following are the steps you can take to secure an offshore drilling job in Canada:

  • Obtain a Valid Class Driver’s License.
  • Must have a valid passport and visa.
  • Gain at least two-three years of experience by enrolling in a land-based internship or apprenticeship program.
  • Attain an offshore confirmation letter from the offshore oil rig company you will work for.
  • Acquire Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Certification.
  • Earn a minimum of two years of experience as a driller in an offshore oil rig company.
  • Must pass the Basic Offshore Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) Course.
  • Must possess a medical fitness certificate.
  • Obtain Hydrogen Sulphide Awareness (H2S) License.
  • Acquire Confined Space Entry Training Certification.
  • Earn a Valid Well Control Level 2 Certification.
  • Must clear the physical, drug, and alcohol test.
  • Attain a Transportation Workers Identity Card (TWIC).
  • Must have a clean criminal record.

If you are looking for a reliable platform to apply for offshore oil rig jobs, you can check our job listings. We are a leading employment agency in Canada, providing many jobs in different industries.


Offshore drilling is a complex and dangerous process that requires specialized knowledge and training. It is also an important part of the global energy industry, responsible for producing approximately 30% of the world’s oil and gas.

To become an offshore driller, you need to be physically fit and intellectually sound. Offshore drillers work in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth, facing treacherous weather conditions and risking their lives to extract vital resources from beneath the seafloor.

But despite these dangers, offshore drilling remains one of the highest-paying jobs in Canada. With hard work and a little luck, you’ll be on your way to an exciting and rewarding career in offshore drilling.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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