How to Become an Oil Rig Worker

An oil rig worker is one of several oil careers. An oil rig, also known as an oil platform or drilling rig, is drilling equipment used for both on-land and offshore oil drilling. Thus the term "oil rig worker" can either denote a land oil rig worker or an offshore oil rig worker.

Evaluating Your Qualities

Before you decide to pursue a career as an oil rig worker, you should evaluate your personal qualities to ensure that this is the right job for you.

  • You should be at least 18 years of age.
  • You should possess the ability to cooperate and stay with co-workers during the working days. Oil rig workers usually work 14 or 21 days and then take a few days off.
  • You should be physically and mentally fit. Oil rig workers usually have to undergo a series of tests like physical examinations, drug tests and x-rays of the entire body before the receive an offer of employment.
  • You should be willing to work night shifts. Oil rigs operate continuously; hence somebody is taking care of operations at all points of time.
  • You should avoid a smoking habit because smoking is strictly prohibited on oil rigs.
  • Some oil companies also prohibit their workers from consuming alcohol because the oil rig worker will be working with heavy machinery. Make sure you know about all these terms and conditions beforehand and can abide by them.

Obtaining Education and Certifications

If you indeed decide to pursue a career as an oil rig worker, you probably will not encounter specific educational requirements from prospective employers, especially for an entry-level job. Many employers train their entry-level workers on the job. However, these certifications may help, depending on the career path you desire:

  • Certifications like Basic Offshore Safety Instruction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) or Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) can give you an edge over others if you plan to work on offshore oil rigs.
  • The certification requirements differ according to oil rig companies of different countries. BOSIET is essential for oil rig workers situated in the U.K., the Netherlands and Denmark.
  • In U.S.-based companies, BOSIET and HUET are accepted. For U.S. citizens, the TWIC card is also required to work for offshore operations. The TWIC card is a biometric card which is used as an identification tool.

Finding the Job

Your final step in becoming an oil rig worker is to actually find the job. These tips may help:

  • Find out the major players operating in the industry.
  • Get detailed information from past or present oil rig workers. Know about the company that you are applying to, including job responsibilities, work environment, co-workers and management.
  • Find out the situation of the oil and gas industry, governmental regulations and financial status of the particular employer so you can assess the overall situation. The Internet or news articles may provide an excellent starting point for your search.
  • Prepare a resume by highlighting the main points required for this kind of job. Keep the duties and lifestyle in mind.
  • Apply to your selected companies and prepare yourself for a round of medical tests and interviews.