How rigs work: The role of Field Electricians

Rigs are sophisticated and technically-advanced pieces of equipment. It takes a crew of well-trained and skilled rig hands to operate them, and it takes a team of knowledgeable specialists to build and maintain them. Tradespeople, such as Heavy-Duty Mechanics, Hydraulic Specialists and Electricians, all help ensure our field hands have well-maintained and safe equipment to operate.

Michael Seinen is a Master Electrician and an Electrical Foreman with Trinidad. He joined our team in 2007 as a new Journeyman. Now, he helps to manage a team of Canadian Field Electricians who work both in the field and at our operations center in Nisku, Alta. Seinen answered a few questions for us about the role of Field Electricians on the rigs.

Michael Seinen
Michael Seinen, Electrical Foreman with Trinidad Drilling

3 questions with a Field Electrician:

Q. What does a Field Electrician do?

A. A Field Electrician is responsible for maintaining, diagnosing and repairing the electrical systems on the rig. This could mean repairing a cord end for a motor, repairing a variable frequency drive for the large traction motors or diagnosing a Programmable Logical Controller (PLC) input affecting the system. We are instrumental to the operation of the rigs as the technology that puts Trinidad ahead of its competitors depends on the electrical systems we have developed.

“We are instrumental to the operation of the rigs as the technology that puts Trinidad ahead of its competitors depends on the electrical systems we have developed.”

Q. What kind of training is required to become a Field Electrician?

A. A Field Electrician must possess a Journeyman ticket in the electrical trade and must have a good understanding of how PLCs work in relation to one another. A background in instrumentation also helps.

Q. What does an average day look like?

A. Every day is different. You could spend a day in the yard repairing equipment or upgrading older systems, a day driving to a rig in northern B.C. or a night repairing a system that has shut down the rig entirely. To be effective in this job you need to be flexible enough to go where you are needed at any given moment.

Opportunities for career growth

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new Leasehand, a Driller or a Field Electrician, we’re committed to growing the careers of Trinidad’s employees as our company grows. For example, here are the opportunities (including international opportunities) Seinen has had since joining Trinidad seven years ago:

  • Journeyman Electrician (building new rigs)
  • Electrical Foreman (on a rig build)
  • International Service Electrician (working mostly in Texas and Louisiana)
  • Electrical Services Manager (managing up to eight Field Electricians in Canada)
  • Electrical Foreman (current role)

Join our team:

Are you an experienced tradesperson or a skilled rig hand? Check out these five reasons to join our team or apply for a career with Trinidad today.

Are you just starting your career in the trades (and Rig Technician is a trade in Canada)? We have a paid apprenticeship program for members of our team.

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