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Drilling Supervisor Trainee

Drilling Supervisor Trainee

Candace Curtis

Hometown: Trepassey
Company: ExxonMobil

“The most exciting part of my job is the constant learning – technology is improving so quickly that there will always be something new to see.”


Candace completed the Petroleum Engineering Technology program at College of the North Atlantic. She says her high school physics, chemistry and math courses were most applicable to her post-secondary studies. Candace volunteered with various organizations as a youth and worked part-time with the Canadian Army Reserves. She says these activities, combined with a full course load, helped her develop time management skills which are important in her industry. She also developed valuable career skills through her involvement in her local 4H club (which included public speaking and demonstration competitions) and her high school basketball team.


Candace currently works from 6 pm-6 am on a rotation of 21 days on-21 days off. Her permanent residence is only a few minutes from the heliport where she takes a 90-minute helicopter flight to the Hibernia platform. Her next assignment is in the United States where she will have a longer commute. Candace has traveled for her job to Houston (Texas), Aberdeen (Scotland) and throughout Canada.  Future assignments may require travel to other international locations to supervise drilling operations.

Candace’s job as Drilling Supervisor Trainee involves learning about various drilling practices, equipment and procedures. It also involves participating in safety meetings, completing daily reports and spending a lot of time observing drilling operations. The environmental conditions offshore are very often foggy and windy. Heavy, rotating equipment, as well as potential slip and fall hazards are present on the platform, but workers are well-prepared and safety measures are in place to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. Her employer has a very strong workplace safety program for both onshore and offshore sites.

Candace began her career by completing a four-month work term with ExxonMobil during her second year of school. She was hired full-time after graduation. She plans to continue to train and work towards becoming a competent Drilling Supervisor and hopes to stay in Drilling to see what opportunities arise in the future.

Compensation and Benefits

In addition to her salary, Candace receives medical and dental insurance, investment options and a pension plan. International rotators receive extra pay for working outside of their home country. Candace also receives an uplift to her pay for each night she spends on the rig. There is a large amount of training offered by Candace’s employer. In the past year she has been given the opportunity to attend any training that could contribute to her professional development.  She is compensated for training completed on her days off.