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Oil Careers: A definitive guide

Updated on April 8, 2015

You don’t have to be an expert, or even all that well informed, to be aware both of the dangers of oil careers, as well as the relatively high pay packets that positions within the industry can attract. However the ins and outs of such work may well surprise you, and as this article goes on to explore, entering this market is far more accessible than at first it seems.

Oil careers: What’s out there?

Oil careers offer much for the employees within this industry; there are long-term careers, what can be incredibly competitive pay and a wide variety of diverse positions. Whilst this must be balanced with both the working of unsociable hours and, in many instances, working away on rigs or in remote and dangerous locations, oil careers remain a particularly in demand and competitive choice for many.


The oil careers that many imagine: Working the rig

Because of the relative danger and high pay of working upon an oil rig very often people automatically think of oil careers as equating solely to working upon the various rigs found throughout the world. This position it then seems may be a good place to start, particularly when we consider that this area of the industry generally has more entry level positions (positions that require no official academic qualifications) than anywhere else. Generally speaking these positions attract a basic starting salary of between £26,000 to £40,000 ($40000 to $60,000).

Oil Rigs: No longer the completely inhospitable places of old

Whilst working on an oil rig still means that you’re relatively isolated, with no dry land potentially for miles, they are far from the all testing, no creature comfort environments that they previously were. Today modern rigs boast bedrooms that feature cable, internet and DVD players, as well as some even featuring a movie room. What’s more placements tend to last for a now shortened period of six months, with the remaining six months off from work completely.

Qualities required for working on an oil rig

Working on an oil rig is an incredibly challenging proposition; specifically people who are successful here each hold, to greater or lesser degrees, the following qualities:

  • An adventurous spirit (living and working on an oil rig can be both daunting and exciting),

  • Good overall physical health,

  • Ability to get on with people from all walks of life and from all over the world,

  • A willingness to travel (this job can see you positioned in Mexico one week and the Philippines the next).

Working on an oil righ

Oil careers over and above entry level positions

The positions within the oil industry that require either official training or professional qualifications are far and wide ranging. From the management found on rigs around the world to marine life specialists.

Official oil based qualifications

Due to the nature of oil careers as outlined above the range of degrees that are required across the industry are equally as far and wide ranging; specifically the various positions command degrees within the following areas: geology, chemistry, math, environmental engineering, engineering, civil engineering, or other physical sciences.

Whilst life on the rig has changed, it still is not without inherent risks.
Whilst life on the rig has changed, it still is not without inherent risks. | Source

What oil career areyou currently researching?

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Ready to consider an oil career as your future?

If after after reading the pros and cons of choosing to work within the oil industry you still feel that oil careers warrant more investigation then you should start with exploring the Offshore Guide.

Other sources of information for oil careers in a more general sense include the Oil Gas Career Guide, which provides everything from in-depth industry analysis through to up to the minute job position lists; as a last point of reference the Mining Oil and Gas Jobs website may also be useful (this website focuses on the Australian oil industry).

Oil Careers: A video introduction


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