Rig Technician

Scott Brown Production and Maintenance Sector, Red Seal


Rig Technician

Effective immediately, the SATCC will no longer be accepting apprentice applications for the Rig Technician trade. The SATCC is still accepting trade qualifier applications for the Rig Technician (Driller) trade until May 30, 2021. Trade qualifiers can write the interprovincial journeyperson certification exam until June 30, 2021.


Rig Technicians operate and maintain drilling rig equipment, systems, pumps and engines.

What do Rig Technicians do on the job?

  • The Motorhand looks after the engines and other machinery. The Motorhand trains and supervises junior crewmembers (level 1).
  • The Derrickhand assists the Driller with equipment maintenance and looks after the pumps and mud system (level 2).
  • The Driller monitors and records the progress of the drilling operation, as well as be responsible to develop a well-trained, responsible and safety-conscious crew (level 3).

The Rig Technician Motorhand (Level One) regularly maintains drilling rig engines, transmissions, heating systems, diesel electric generators and motors, hydraulic systems and other mechanical equipment; maintains equipment logs and preventative maintenance records; monitor inventories of fuel, oil filters, lube oils, greases and other service items; participates in rig mobilization and de-mobilization; and may supervise and train floorhands and labourers.

The Rig Technician Derrickhand (Level Two) regularly operates drilling fluid systems and pumps during drilling; mixes fluid chemicals and additives; handles sections of drill string assembles from a platform on the rig derrick during tripping operations; monitors and records mud flows and volumes and fluid properties; participates in rig mobilization and de-mobilization; and includes all of the work performed by a motorhand (level one).

The Rig Technician Driller (Level Three) operates the draw-works, rotary equipment and pumps and supervises the assembly of drill strings; ensures that safety and support equipment is functioning properly; monitors and keeps records of the progress of drilling operations; participates in the supervision of mobilization and de-mobilization; is responsible for supervising rig crews; and includes all of the work performed by a motorhand (level one) and a derrickhand (level two).

For further details about this occupation, please see the High School to Apprenticeship Handbook, or find it on this website under “Resources.”