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Oil & Gas Drilling Supervisor: Canada’s Best Jobs 2016

The work of overseeing resource extraction tracks the volatile fortunes of the energy industry

UPDATED! Click here for 2017’s ranking of Canada’s Best Jobs » Canada’s Best Jobs 2016: The Top Jobs in Canada
Oil & Gas Drilling Supervisor Jobs — Canada’s Best Jobs


Median Salary: $79,997
Salary Growth (2009–2015): +14%
Total Employees: 17,900
Change in Employees (2009–2015): +19%

Job Description:

Rig supervisors coordinate and schedule the activities of rig workers. They typically manage 10–20 people on different shifts, and are expected to be experienced in the technical requirements of the jobs themselves. They are required to train workers in tasks, safety procedures and company policies.

Job Qualifications:

After some training courses, high school graduates can work as oil and gas well drillers or servicers—supervisors typically work their way up through the various drilling crew jobs. Various safety certificates and some management training may also be required.


Rig managers generally earn a day rate of about $1,000. During boom times when wells are extremely active that can drive annual income well into the six figures. But when oil companies cut down production in response to depressed prices, the money stops flowing along with the crude.

Career Opportunity:

While energy companies have been shutting down wells in response to the present oil price slump, there are still more job openings than job seekers in this field, according to Job Bank Canada. Job creation is projected to slow down over the next few years due to technological advances in oil sands processing and a slower growth in international demand for oil products, but the growing demand for base metals is expected to buoy employment opportunities.

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