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Mechanical Technician

Mechanical Technician

Mike Bursey

Hometown: Conception Bay South
Company: Schlumberger Drilling & Measurements division

“There is a lot of money spent on offshore oil and gas projects. Being able to supply and maintain high technology tools to our clients that go offshore and work without incident gives a great deal of satisfaction. For example, introducing a new tool to a client cut approximately 20 days off drilling which in turn saved the client millions of dollars in rig costs for that specific well.”


After completing high school Mike joined the Canadian Armed Forces where he was trained as a Vehicle Technician (mechanic). There he worked on everything from chain saws to tanks. He credits his youth involvement in Army Cadets with giving him a solid foundation of discipline and ethics. He said his natural interests helped draw him to his chosen career. “I always took things apart and was always working with my hands – I needed to know what made things ‘tick’.” Mike adds that his high school math and physics courses were most applicable to his future studies.


Mike usually works from 8 am-5 pm with paid overtime, if applicable. He lives approximately a five-minute drive from his place of work. Mike usually works in the shop area, where his work involves a considerable amount of repetitive motion tasks, as well as heavy lifting and exposure to fumes, dust, oils and chemicals. Conditions in the shop can be very cold in the winter and humid in the summer so employees have to deal with a range of conditions. Mike must also be aware of and prepared for numerous hazards at his place of work. He says there are 5-ton overhead cranes, forklifts moving about and a considerable amount of pinch points and sharp objects which can cause hand injuries.

Mike’s work involves significant travel for training and when he is needed to help out in other districts. He has been to several parts of the United States, western Canada, England and the Middle East. To reach his current position, Mike spent 10 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Vehicle Technician and has spent past seven years with Schlumberger both offshore and onshore. He says future opportunities with Schlumberger are limited only by desire and performance. As he says, “You drive your own bus.”

Compensation and Benefits

Annual salaries for Mike’s occupation range from $72,500 upwards, and career compensation depends completely on the direction his career might take. His employer provides him with full medical and dental, life insurance, pension, profit sharing and discounted stock contribution plan. Annual merit bonuses are also usually paid out based on employee performance. His employer also provides training for job progression and safety improvement.

Mike feels that his salary in the oil and gas field is on par with or surpasses salaries of similar positions in another industry and it far surpasses salaries in non oil and gas careers with similar amounts of training.