Requirements for Entry Level Offshore Jobs


The requirements needed to gain employment in the Offshore Oil Industry have more to do with your willingness and ability to work hard, be a team player, and learn new skills quickly, rather than experience, training, or education.  Oil Rigs, both Onshore and Offshore, will always be willing to hire the right person.  The available job openings aren’t limited to just drilling jobs, either – there is a strong need for cooks, painters, crane operators, platers, and electrical and mechanical technicians and engineers, medics, and supply managers, just to name a few. This article will discuss the requirements for getting hired in an entry level offshore job, as well as the major work locations and expected salaries wages for entry level offshore personel.  For the most part, much of the information applies to onshore work as well.

Entry Level Offshore Requirements

Working offshore is hard physical labor, so you absolutely must be in good shape. You will be given a physical as well as having your back xrayed, and you must be able to pass a drug test.

Be at least 18 years or older.

There are many different job categories offshore. The more experience you have in the particular offshore job you are interested in, the better the odds are that you will be hired. There are, however, many entry level positions that do not require previous experience – grunt work, such as cleaning, scraping rust, housekeeping, being a galley hand, and so on.

For entry level jobs offshore, a formal education isn’t required. Employers are more interested in your potential and your work ethic than in formal training for these types of positions. For technical and advanced positions, both degrees and certifications will be required.

Reliability is another important quality that employers look for. Drilling for oil is a team effort, and the other team members depend on you, as you do them. Do your best to be a good part of the team, and you will go a long ways.

Having a strong desire to advance yourself up the ranks is another quality employers like to see. Many roustabouts don’t make it – make an effort to stand out in a good way by your determination, grit and work ethic, and you will be able to get promoted quickly.

Entry Level Salary Expectations

For someone with no experience in oil industry work, starting salaries today are ranging from $50,000 to $60,000.  When you consider this pay level is for working only 6 months out of the year, the appeal of oil field or offshore work becomes very understandable. Entry-level positions start at $800 to $1,000 per week. Stewards and Galleyhands (the guys who clean the living quarters, dining hall, wash dishes, stock inventory and do general kitchen help) earn $700-800 per week.  General labor, or Roustabouts make from $900 to $1100 per week. Some of the other jobs available for entry level personel include deckhands, oilers, welder helpers, cleaner painters and more.

Locations and Current Job Openings

There are many job openings, in particular in Canada and Nigeria, as well as Dubai UAE (United Arab Emerites).  In Canada, several new offshore platforms are being put into place off the coast of Nova Scotia, and they are now hiring for all positions, no offshore experience required.  Also in Canada, the Alberta tar sands projects generate a huge, constant hiring demand; if you are willing to get a work visa, you can get a job just by driving out there).  The Nigeria offshore projects are always hiring, and the pay is extremely high, among the highest in the world.

Some of the other locations currently hiring include Texas (Houston being the main hiring center), Louisiana, the North sea United Kingdom, Louisiana (offshore and onshore), the Gulf of Mexico (offshore), Norway, Alaska (both offshore and on the North Slope), Florida, Kuwait, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (always hiring), and the favorite of many, Australia (offshore).  Australia is a particularly great work location of many, as the pay is among the highest in the world, yet the cost of living is relatively low in Australia.  Guys that get on Australia rigs typically don’t come home for a very, very long time.

If you would like to get hired in a hurry, the best way to go about it is to utilize the services of an offshore job finding service such as Rigworker.  Rigworker is a great resource, in particular for those just starting out, as they will both create and send your resume to the companies that are hiring.  They do work directly with many companies and recruiters that hire beginners for offshore work, and most of their services are free, so people can try them out and see if their services will work for them.

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