Until further notice, Alberta is not accepting new applications for designated occupation programs. These programs are being reviewed as part of the transition from the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act to the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act.  Please check back at a later date for updates.

Click here for more information on the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act.

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Snubbing Services (All Levels)

Photo/Video Credit alis.alberta.ca

Snubbing services refers to the use of snubbing equipment to insert or remove drill pipe, tubing or specialized equipment into or from a well, when blowout preventers are closed while containing well pressure. Snubbing services are specialized functions of oil and gas well life cycle maintenance that requires working with a well under pressure.

Snubbing services - Assistant Operator, Operator 1, Operator 2, Operator 3, Supervisor 1 and Supervisor 2, are available for certification under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act.

  • Assistant Operator –provides support and assists with the pre and post job snubbing operations. This is an entry-level position.
  • Operator 1 –operates in well environments where the shut-in pressure is less than 10 MPa and the wellbore gas or fluid is sweet. Snubbing services involve single zone workovers and completions, including jobs where the tubing can be moved through the well without staging couplings or tool joints.
  • Operator 2 –operates in more complex medium pressure well environments that are sweet or sour, where the shut-in pressure is between 10 and 21 MPa. Snubbing services involve sand cleanouts, lubricating, fishing, multizone and/or dual string completions.
  • Operator 3 –operates in even more complex high-pressure well environments. The gas or fluid may be sweet, sour or critical sour. They can work on wells with a shut-in pressure greater than 21 MPa. Snubbing services may involve operations using multiple blow-out preventers.
  • Supervisor 1 –oversees operations in medium pressure well environments, sweet or sour, with shut-in pressure of less than 21 MPa. The supervisor ensures a healthy and safe work environment while following industry practices and implementing environmental policies. This position is responsible for managing wellsite performance.
  • Supervisor 2 –oversees operations in high pressure (greater than 21 MPa) well environments that may include critical sour gas and fluids. Supervision of the snubbing crew, management of wellsite performance and worksite safety are key responsibilities. Detailed definitions for each of the branches can be found in the Snubbing Services designated occupation regulation.

Those authorized to perform the restricted activities of this designated trade include:

  • Sponsored Apprentices,
  • Certified Journeypersons
  • Individuals deemed qualified by their employer, and
  • Self-Employed individuals.

For complete information, see Restricted Activities and Classes of Individuals.

Program Information

Program Information & Requirements
Trades Qualifier

You can earn a Journeyperson Certificate based on:

Recognized Training

The requirements for Snubbing Services, depending on the branch, are as follows:

  • Assistant Operator branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Assistant Operator
  • Operator 1 branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Operator 1
  • Operator 2 branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Operator 2
  • Operator 3 branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Operator 3
  • Supervisor 1 branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Supervisor 1
  • Supervisor 2 branch:
    • Enform (Energy Safety Canada) Certificate for Snubbing Services – Supervisor 2

Program Credit

Category Information

Supporting Resources

Description / Resources
Trade Information Get important information about the duties, working conditions, and skills and abilities needed to work in this trade. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Job Information View job postings in this trade, and learn about the current job market, average wage and resources for finding a job. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Competency Outline Get information on all of the program requirements and what you will learn.
Legislation For more information regarding undertakings, activities, and certification requirements, please review the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities Regulation and the Designated Trades’ Activities and Certification Requirements Order.


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