From newbie to Rig Manager

How to advance your career on a rig

If there’s one myth we want to debunk in our blog, it’s the misconception that rig work is not a career. Working on a rig is not only a career, it’s a darn good one. There is a ton of opportunity for advancement. In fact, our CEO started out as a roughneck.

If you work in the field, the big job you will be working towards is the Rig Manager position.

The Rig Manager ensures the rig operates efficiently and, through leadership, keeps the crew safe. Working your way up to a Rig Manager gig requires years of experience, industry knowledge and training, but with hard work you can get there.

Ryan Gnyp
Ryan Gnyp

Take Ryan Gnyp, for example. He started with Trinidad Drilling as a Floorhand in 2005 and is now a relief Rig Manager on Rig 44, which is operates south of Grande Prairie, Alta.

“I decided on this career because I enjoy working as a team to get the job done and recognize the opportunity for advancement,” said Gnyp, who lives in Prince George, B.C.

The nice thing about choosing a career on the rigs is the way to “climb the ladder” is fairly defined.

The nice thing about choosing a career on the rigs is the way to “climb the ladder” is fairly defined. In a way, you work your way up the rig.

Gnyp started with Trinidad working on the rig floor as a Floorhand and then was promoted to Derrickhand, where you climb the rig’s derrick and work above the rig floor on a monkeyboard. He then moved to Assistant Driller, then to Driller and landed in his current role of relief Rig Manager three years ago (the Driller and Rig Manager don’t literally work at the top of the rig, but you get the idea).

“My advice to the newbies who would like to further their career is stay focused, become familiar with the equipment and learn to work well as a team,” said Gnyp, who explained that the crews he worked with helped teach him the skills he needed, which has been a key to his success.

Gnyp had a few years’ experience before joining Trinidad, including experience as a Motorhand. Generally on a land-drilling crew, the career path looks like this:

  • Leasehand (most, but not all, rigs have Leasehands; on some rigs a newbie would start as a Floorhand)
  • Floorhand (or roughneck)
  • Motorhand
  • Derrickhand
  • Driller
  • Rig Manager

Read descriptions of these positions here.

Why a career in drilling?

“This is a great career with high income and structured time off,” said Gnyp, who works two weeks on, two weeks off and spends his free time travelling the world and enjoying motorsports like quadding and snowmobiling.

Join our team:

If you’re thinking about starting a career on the rigs, check out this post: 5 steps to get you on the rigs.

If you already have experience in the field, take a look at some of the current opportunities on our team.

Read other stories about people who have grown their careers with Trinidad:

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