What Will I Need to Work on a Service Rig?

Before starting a career in the oilfield service industry, a service rig employee is required to possess a few key requirements:

  • Legally eligible to work Canada
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle
  • All potential employees must successfully complete a substance abuse screening and rigorous physical test prior to employment.
  • Have the means to support themselves for the first few weeks until they receive their first paycheck (cover costs for hotels, meals, fuel)
  • Possess required work gear or the means to obtain required work gear (see below)
  • Possess mandatory certification including a valid H2S Alive certificate and First Aid certificate (see below)

Required Work Gear

The following is a list of seasonal work gear worn by service rig workers. Savanna supplies rig employees with coveralls, hard hat, safety glasses, and hearing protection (ear plugs). Always have at least one set of extra clothes to change into if your current work wear gets contaminated.


  • CSA approved steel toed boots and/or rubber steel toed boots (high cut boots must be used for ankle support)
  • Summer weight coveralls (fire retardant with reflective safety striping)
  • Safety glasses
  • ANSI approved hard hat
  • Gloves (e.g. green kings, leather, insulated, impact resistant, or rubber)
  • Rain jacket (fire retardant, high visibility, no hood)
  • Duffle bag (to transport and store clothing, water resistant, medium to large size)
  • Under coverall clothing (cotton blends, natural fibers, no polyester, no nylon or other static electricity producing fabrics, and no hoodies)


  • CSA approved winter steel toed boots (high cut boots must be used for ankle support)
  • Winter weight coveralls (fire retardant with reflective safety striping) (supplied in Canada only)
  • ANSI approved lined hard hat (fire retardant)
  • Gloves (e.g. green kings, insulated, impact resistant, rubber)
  • Salt and pepper glove liners and neck warmers are good ways to keep your body insulated
  • Bama socks (a couple of pairs, keeps moisture off your feet)
  • Rain pants (fire retardant, high visibility, no hood)
  • Weather proof top and bottom (fire retardant)
  • Warm under coverall clothing (cotton blends, natural fibers, no polyester, no nylon or other static electricity producing fabrics, no hoodies, and no scarves)
  • Safety glasses
  • Duffle bag (to transport and store clothing, water resistant, medium to large size)

Rig Crew and Schedule

Service rigs typically work from a base location, and crews work between 4 and 12 hour shifts each day. Service rig crews are generally made up of five (5) people: Rig Manager, Driller/Operator, Derrickhand, and two Floorhands.

Most days begin by meeting the Driller/Operator who drives the crew to the rig in a company vehicle or personal vehicle. Each member of the crew is responsible for getting themselves to the meeting point, so having a reliable vehicle is an asset. At the end of each shift, the crew returns to the meeting point and is dropped off.

Throughout a regular work day, Floorhands can expect to perform the following duties:

  • Clean and maintain the rig floor
  • Assist the Derrickhand and Driller on the rig floor or with other tasks
  • Clean and maintain the rig and its equipment
  • Assist with Blow Out Prevention (BOP) procedures
  • Help run tubing/rod in and out of well
  • Assist in moving the rig to and from locations (“rigging up” and “rigging out”)
  • Follow all company safety regulations

Work in the oil and gas services industry is seasonal. Because of the weight of rigs and their equipment, and the remote location of wells, these locations are often only accessible when the ground conditions can tolerate heavy loads. Therefore, wells are typically drilled and serviced in the winter when the ground is frozen solid, or in the summer, when the ground has thawed and dried sufficiently. During the spring and fall, when the ground is in a transitional state, it is too soft to move equipment on and easily damaged. For this reason, provincial governments implement “road bans” prohibiting heavy loads from operating in certain areas. During this time, rig work is slower, and many rigs are shut down and their crews sent home. Be prepared to be off for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks without pay during this time. However, rigs that are shut down are usually in need of maintenance, and there may be opportunities for employees who would like to help in this regard. Employees may be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits during seasonal shutdowns.

Getting to and from the Rig

Savanna has service rig bases in the following areas: Brooks, AB, Leduc, AB, and Grande Prairie, AB.

If you would like to work on a service rig, you should live in or near these areas. In some instances, rigs are required to operate in remote locations for extended periods of time. When this happens, rig crews either live in camps or in local hotels, and their room and board are paid for by Savanna.

Work schedules may vary depending on a variety of factors. At a minimum, an individual will receive days of rest as mandated by applicable employment standards legislation. There is no minimum guarantee of available hours of work.

Pay & Benefits

Savanna employees are paid every two weeks via direct bank deposit.  Savanna’s compensation package includes company group health, dental and disability coverage including paramedical coverage (acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath physiotherapist and much more).  Savanna also offers a competitive and rewarding retirement savings plan.

At Savanna, there is an excellent opportunity for quality, hard-working employees to quickly advance their career on a rig.


Once you have completed your orientation, you will immediately receive any other necessary training. This involves Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), along with an in-depth General Safety Orientation. This training is mandatory and provided by Savanna at no cost to the employee. Job-related, hands on training is conducted in the field through the Enform Service Rig Competency Program.

Mandatory Certification

Candidates are required to have the following valid certificates prior to being considered for employment:

H2S Alive

Some well locations have sour gas (Hydrogen Sulfide or H2S) present which is extremely dangerous. All employees are required to possess a valid H2S Alive certificate regardless of whether they are working on a sour gas well. This can be obtained by signing up for and completing a one-day (8 hour) course.

Courses are available at various locations across the province. For more information, contact Energy Safety (formerly Enform) at (780) 955-7770 or visit www.enform.ca or Leduc Safety Service at (780) 955 3300 or visit www.leducsafety.com. The cost of the course is usually between $130 and $150 plus tax, and the certification is valid for three years.

First Aid

While it is not mandatory to have this certification, each service rig crew is required to have two members who are certified in Standard First Aid with CPR level C. Therefore, obtaining a certification beforehand is a great way to improve your chances of being hired.

**Under certain conditions Savanna may consider covering the upfront cost for these mandatory certificates. In this type of circumstances, a candidate will be subject to payroll deduction for the cost of the course once hired with the company.


At Savanna, there is an excellent opportunity for good quality employees to quickly advance to more senior positions. If you would like to pursue a career as a Derrickhand or Driller, please speak to your Rig Manager or Human Resources. The service rig industry in Canada, through Enform, has adopted a competency assessment program to allow Drillers and Derrickhands to evaluate and promote Floorhands when they are ready. Savanna’s recruiters can provide you with more information if you would like to pursue a career in either one of these positions.

Savanna’s Commitment

Savanna is committed to providing a safe, productive and respectful work environment.  As such, Savanna has Policies in place to ensure the protection of our employees, contractors, the pubic and the environment.  All Savanna employees are required to acknowledge and follow the policies at all times.

Savanna Energy Services Corp.
Savanna Group of Companies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Total Energy Services Inc.
Total Energy Services Inc Canada