Career Guide: Oil Rig Worker

Oil rig workers work on an offshore or onshore drilling rig, responsible for operating and maintaining equipment used to extract oil and gas from the earth.

Oil rig workers are essential to the oil and gas industry, these workers are involved in the extraction and processing of oil and natural gas. Workers perform a variety of tasks such as drilling, installing and maintaining equipment, operating machinery and transporting materials.

What are the working hours?

The shift pattern can vary depending on a range of different factors. Typically, shifts are done on rotation and usually last 12 hours, following a pattern of 12 hours ‘on’ and 12 hours ‘off’ with a mixture of both day and night shifts due to the nature of the role being a 24/7 operation.  

What are the main responsibilities?

Oil rig workers have a variety of job responsibilities, depending on their role. Some of the most common positions include:

- Drilling crew – Workers are responsible for drilling holes in the earth’s surface to extract oil and gas.

- Maintenance crew – Workers are responsible for maintaining and repairing equipment on the rig.

- Production crew – Workers are responsible for ensuring that oil and gas are extracted from the rig and transported to storage tanks or pipelines

What challenges do Oil Rig Workers face?

- Harsh Conditions: Oil rigs are typically located in remote areas, which means that workers are often away from their families for long periods of time. They also work in harsh conditions, including extreme weather, high winds, and rough seas.

- Safety Risks: Oil rig workers are exposed to a high level of risk, including the risk of explosions, fires, and falls.

- Long Hours: Workers typically complete 12-hour shifts, with no days off for several weeks at a time. This can be physically and mentally exhausting and can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What are the benefits of becoming an Oil Rig Worker?

- High Pay: Oil rig workers typically earn a high salary, due to the hazardous nature of the work and the long hours.

- Career Opportunities: Oil rig workers can advance in their careers and take on more responsibility as they gain experience. They can also transfer to other locations around the world, which can be a great opportunity for travel.

- Camaraderie: Oil rig workers often work in close-knit teams, which can create a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

What are the requirements to become an Oil Rig worker?

- Must be 18 and over

- Willingness to work in challenging and remote environments

- Must be physically and mentally fit

- Must have obtained an offshore medical certificate

Skills required:

- Excellent communication ability

- Leadership skills

- Ability to take responsibility

- Excellent time management skills

- Exceptional attention to detail


Salaries for Oil Rig Workers can vary, depending on:

- Experience

- Location

- Position

- The size of the company / organisation

If you are looking for your next opportunity as an Oil Rig Worker, call a dedicated member of our team today on 01489 668350 to discuss our current opportunities.

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