How to Apply for Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta

Did you know that oil is Canada’s main source of export earnings? This makes it a very important part of Canada’s economy. There are more than 60 active rigs in Canada, with Alberta producing the most oil and employing more than 128,180 people. This makes Alberta the province to go to if you work on an oil rig.

So if you are interested in the oil and gas industry, find out how to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta and you could win the best price in Canada.

Applying for A Job On an Oil Rig In Canada

Any immigrant who wishes to work in Canada must apply for a Canadian work visa in order to do so legally. Canada is a great place to work for many reasons, including: a high minimum wage and excellent benefits.

The first thing you need to know about the work permit is that there are two types you can qualify for. They are the following:

An open work permit: This visa allows you to work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. There are no restrictions.

An employer-specific work permit: This specific type of visa is restricted by factors such as where you can work and the type of position.

There are now several Canadian programs through which you can apply for any of these visas. Let’s take a look at some of these programs.

Open Work Permit Program

Post-Graduate Work Permit

If you are an international student who has completed a program of study in Canada at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI), this visa is for you. The Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) provides you with an open work permit that allows you to work anywhere in Canada and in any position.

Your work visa would be valid for a period of eight months to three years. It all depends on the length of your studies. This PGWP is the perfect opportunity to gain Canadian work experience that will open up more opportunities for you. Not only with other jobs, but also for permanent residence in Canada.

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Who Is Eligible for A PGWP?

If you want to apply for a PGWP, you must first meet the following criteria:

  • University, vocational or vocational training program completed at an eligible institution in Canada of at least 8 months duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • Maintained full-time student status in Canada; and
  • You have received a transcript and a letter indicating that you have met all the requirements to complete your studies.

Top Trick!

Once you have work experience in Canada, you can apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which is included in Express Entry.

Employer Specific Work Permit Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was created to allow Canadian employers to hire skilled foreign workers to fill Canada’s labor shortage. The great thing about TFWP is that it also ensures that you, as a foreigner, are treated fairly and are protected by labor rights. This is a great visa if you are looking to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta.

The following streams are available to employers looking to hire foreign nationals.

  • foreign agricultural workers;
  • high-wage workers;
  • home health workers;
  • low wage workers;
  • foreign scholars; and
  • Global talent flow.

There is a list of requirements that you must meet to qualify for any of the above streams. They are the following:

  • a valid job offer;
  • a passport;
  • demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the job offer;
  • medical examination and certificate;
  • extract of criminal record;
  • the results of your language test;
  • funds test; and
  • a copy of your Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

What is an LMIA?

A Labor Market Compatibility Check is a letter that an employer may be required to obtain before hiring a foreign professional. A positive LMIA means that the foreigner must actually hold the position. This also means that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill the position. In order for an employer to obtain an LMIA, they must apply for one.

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Types of Oil Rig Jobs in Alberta

On an oil rig there are usually three or four crew members who specialize in different roles. These are the most common types of work to efficiently and safely extract oil from the ground.

Platform Manager

You can advance to the position of Platform Manager, sometimes referred to as a Tool Pusher. Basically, the manager oversees all drilling personnel and drilling activities and equipment. Rig crew members look to their rig manager for advice, safety training, conflict resolution, and assistance with personnel and operational issues.

Oil rig managers typically have first aid certifications and specialized safety training. They also earn an average of C$158,000 per year.


The driller manages his own teams and reports to the rig manager. The driller must supervise a crew and operate the drilling and lifting equipment, manage the rig floor and the rig console (including brakes, monitors, joysticks, clutches and many gauges).

Console readings and feedback allow the driller to make adjustments if necessary. Drillers can earn up to CA$99,000 per year depending on years of experience.


On an oil rig, the derrickhand manipulates the top of the drill string as it moves up or down the well. They spend 25% of their time operating and maneuvering at incredible heights.

Additionally, they also play a key role in operating the mud system, mixing mud, assisting with drilling, maintaining equipment, and performing other work as required. Safety training is essential for this position. Crane operators earn approximately $75,000 per year.


Oil rigs have powerful engines that power the rig and some other equipment on the rig. As the job title suggests, Motorhands is responsible for keeping engines running smoothly. Equipment varies slightly from rig to rig, but more often than not a rig will have a combination of diesel and electric motors.

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Motorhands must have a sense of mechanics and experience with this type of equipment. You can earn approximately C$71,325 per year.

Roustabouts and Roughnecks

If you have no experience working on an oil rig but want to break into the industry, joining as a rogue or roustabout is the way to go. These entry-level oil rig jobs in Alberta are labor-intensive and consist of various tasks such as assembling and repairing oilfield machinery, fixing poles , keeping the rig clean and free of safety hazards, moving equipment around the rig, painting and more.

The position will allow you to gain insight into the oil and gas industry to see what area you would like to specialize in if you wish to move up the ranks. Roustabouts and roughnecks can earn around C$40,000 per year.

Working as an Immigrant in Alberta

Alberta has consistently ranked among the best places in Canada to immigrate as a foreign citizen. The province is considered the prosperous province of today and is known for its high standard of living.

Working in Alberta in particular is a great option due to booming economic growth, so it makes sense to apply for oil rig jobs in Alberta. Contact one of our visa experts today and check if you are eligible!

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