How To Start Your Career as an Offshore Oil Driller

How To Start Your Career as an Offshore Oil Driller
  • Opening Intro -

    Offshore oil drillers will process petroleum and natural gas from rock formations beneath the seabed, meaning you’ll spend weeks surrounded entirely by water, extracting oil from the ground.


If this sounds appealing to you, you may be wondering how you can start your career in this industry. Consider taking the steps below to join the ranks on an offshore oil rig.

Basic Requirements

Each oil company may have different requirements but share similar basic stipulations. Typically, you need a high school diploma or a GED to create a solid foundation to start your career. You will need to be 18 years old, pass a physical fitness exam, and understand that you could be working extended shifts for weeks at a time.

If you don’t necessarily want to become a driller, you could still work on the oil rig as an electrician or a medic. Choosing this route would mean needing a higher education to meet those additional requirements.

Find an Apprenticeship for Experience

Taking the leap and starting your career as an offshore oil driller apprentice is possible, but you won’t have much experience.

Consider finding a position on a land rig first so you can gain one to two years of experience before joining the forces at sea. This industry is growing in 2022, and more jobs are becoming available. Separate yourself from the rest of the pack by having experience under your belt.

Start as an Offshore Roustabout

Once the apprenticeship is over, you can sign on an offshore rig as a roustabout. This position does not require prior experience, but hiring managers will see that you stand out from other candidates because you took the time to gain previous knowledge on oil drilling. This won’t be the most glamorous job, but it will allow you to get your foot in the door for other positions.

In this portion of your career, a roustabout will be painting the deck, cleaning, and hauling heavy equipment. Don’t worry, as this is just a starting point; with determination, hard work, and an outstanding work ethic, you can work your way through the ranks.

Work Through the Ranks

Once you impress the managers as a roustabout, you’ll start moving through the chain to higher positions. Of course, you must possess the necessary attributes to continue making your way through the ranks.

If you perform your job well and increase safety on the oil rig, you could gain a promotion within a year.

Other positions you could be promoted to include roughnecks, pumpman, derrickman, assistant driller, and manager. Once you reach these positions, you could already be considered an oil driller. However, working your way up to an assistant driller or manager means higher responsibility and overseeing more daily operations.

Working on an offshore oil rig will not be for every individual, but if you have the determination, you may be in the position you were hoping for within a few years. Additionally, this might not be a forever job with its grueling hours and dangerous conditions; you might want a land job as you get older.

Have a plan for how you want to continue your career on land after giving a few years to the profession at sea.

Remember to gain experience and knowledge every chance you get to move through the ranks more easily. Start your career in this industry today!

Image Credit: Adobe stock royalty free image FILE #: 105408248

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