Most people probably wouldn’t give offshore oil rig jobs a second thought, especially after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. Although it is a mentally and physically demanding and often dangerous job, there are some perks as well, not to mention there are a ton of opportunites. If you think you have what it take to work on an offshore oil rig, then you may want to check out rigworker.com, a leading site for offshore oil rig jobs. Click here to visit their site.
What is an oil rig?
An oil rig (a.k.a. oil platform) extracts and processes oil and natural gas, and temporarily stores the product until it can be brought to shore for refining and marketing. Offshore oil rigs can be found all over the world, including but not limited to the United States, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Norway, China, Canada and the United Kingdom. Oil rigs are generally not owned by oil companies, but instead contracted by them.
There are several different types of oil rigs and each are built and used for different reasons. For more info on the types of oil rigs, I suggest reading this article.
Working on an oil rig
Large oil rigs are often referred to as cities on the sea. They can hold anywhere from 150-200 people at a time. Most of these people are employed by by the oil rig contractor, while 5-10 are employed directly by the oil company. Jobs on oil rigs may include Driller, Derrickman, Shakerhand, Toolpusher, Roughnecks, Motorman, Assistant Driller, Crane Operator, Roustabouts, Cleaner/Painter, Storekeeper, Mechanic/Electrician, Sub Sea Engineer, Rig Mechanic, Rig Electrician, Rig Welder, Barge Engineer, Captain and Chief Engineer, Rig Medic and Safety Man.
Oil rigs are usually located far away from land and require a helicopter or boat to get to, so employees work extended periods of time. Usually one to two weeks on and then one to two weeks off. This can sometimes put a strain on home life, as you are away from your family for half of the year. While you are on the rig, you work 12 hour shifts. These long hours can definitely take a toll on your body. A lot of rig works will tell you that it is more like 5 days off, since you end up sleeping for 2 days though.
So what do workers do during their 12 hours of downtime each day? Well, to make up for the tough conditions, most oil companies will put a great deal of effort to provide comfortable living conditions. According to BP’s website, “Every facility is different, but most platforms have dormitory-style sleeping quarters, visitor accommodations, a restaurant, a coffee house, as well as a cinema, gym and other recreation areas”.
What are you paid?
According to this CNN article, the average salary for the industry is just under $100,000 per annum. Entry level positions typically make between $50,000 – $80,000 per annum. Trades, technical and professional positions will likely earn between $70,000 – $220,000 per annum. So if you are willing to put up with the tough conditions, you will be well compensated for it. This is one of the perks that keep people coming back to the rigs.
So how do you get a job?
One strategy for people that have few skills that want a shot on a rig, is to move to any number of states that are currently seeing a boom in oil and gas production and get a job in logistics such as driving a truck. From there it is easy to meet several people that work on rigs.
There are also several training classes you can take that prepare you for careers in the oil industry and once you are in with an oil company you can work your way up as well.