A drilling rig is a unique work environment.  The crew is made up of individuals with varying levels of skill and experience.  These individuals work together both to accomplish the drilling operation and to train crewmembers to advance in the crew hierarchy.

The driller is the most senior crew position  and has the most responsibility and often the most experience.  Second to the driller is the derrickhand, then the motorhand, then the floorhand, then the leasehand. 

Think of the traditional rig crew structure as a ladder, the lowest rung is the leasehand position, the highest is the driller. Let's call this the occupation ladder.

The Rig Technician trade can be thought of as a separate ladder: a training ladder. The lowest rung is Rig Tech 1, the highest Rig Tech 3.

The first period of the Rig Technician training focuses on the skills and knowledge a motorhand needs.  Level 2 training focuses on derrickhand work and Level 3 training on driller work.

Rig Tech regulations do not tie the occupation ladder to the training ladder.   An apprentice who is training at a specific level is not tied to working a specific crew position.

On the training ladder, apprentices will always move up in sequence. From Rig Tech 1, they will go to Rig Tech 2 and then to Rig Tech 3.

On the occupation ladder, employees move up or down. In slow times, experienced employees might work junior positions.  In busy times, employees with limited experience might have an opportunity to work a more senior position.

An apprentice’s on-the-job training must be hours worked as a motorhand, derrickhand or driller. However, which position they work remains at the discretion of supervisors and the needs of the rig.

For instance, a first period apprentice is not limited to working motors while logging OJT hours. If the employer feels this apprentice is ready for a derrickhand position, the employer has the option to promote the apprentice. The apprentice can use hours employed as a derrickhand to complete first period OJT requirements.