An oil platform is basically a large structure that is used as a facility in the sea. It's built as a structure that allows workers to drill and extract oil and natural gas from below the earth's surface under the sea. Oil platforms are also known as oil rigs and some as offshore platforms. Within that facility, there are many different people that perform a wide range of jobs to ensure that it functions properly. Our daily lives, as well as our nation's economy, depend on our ability to get to these natural resources, so workers in this industry are vital to our way of life. America is currently one of the top five producers in the world, and we haven't even begun to tap into our resources.
Jobs on the oil rig are broken down into three basic categories: drill crew, deck crew and security and management. The drill crew consists of positions such as roughnecks and pump men. Some of the deck crew's positions are roustabouts and crane operators. When all of the positions come together, the oil rig runs smoothly. Some positions on the rig are entry-level, and some are higher-level jobs that can only be obtained with the relevant education requirements. All are achievable after years of experience. The oil and gas industry is flourishing and will be for all of the foreseeable future, so now's a great time to get started to ensure that you enjoy a long and satisfying career.
Did You Know? The United States uses more than 17 million barrels of oil per day. About 7 million of those barrels are used as gasoline for cars.
Platform Jobs Positions
There are a large number of jobs available on the oil rig platform, and all vary in duty and pay. The positions include floor men, roughnecks, drillers and driller assistants, roustabouts, crane operators, barge engineers, rig mechanics, rig electricians and rig welders, subsea engineers, captains, medics, geologists, and tool pushers. There are also security, safety and manager jobs available on the oil platform as well as some specialty jobs. Common offshore specialty careers include radio operators, commercial or offshore drivers, stability techniques and positioning and ballast control operators. To qualify for a specialized position you must not only have experience, but you'll also need to complete the education required for that specialty.
An oil rig is just like a community, and only works when people correctly perform their jobs. There are entry-level positions, mangers and specialists all out on the platform, and every job is an integral part of the success of the whole facility. But it's not easy. It's a 24-hour operation so some night shifts will be required, and the hours can be long. In addition, the work is hard and continuous while out on the rig. The good news is that it's possible to earn $300 a day for your hard work. Not too many jobs can brag about a salary like that.
Oil rig Platform Job Benefits
There certainly are some great benefits to choosing to work out on the platform. Oil rig jobs are usually labor intensive by nature, but the companies normally go out of their way to ensure that their employees are safe, well feed and happy at all times. Many find the oil rig accommodations much like those of very nice hotels. Although you may be floating out at sea away from everything, or just off the shelf next to a small town, you will have everything you need at your fingertips. While on the rig, the company will take care of all your needs, so you are not spending any of your own money while working.
The rotation of schedules that you'll find on offshore rigs is not typical in most jobs, but it allows flexibility in a way most jobs never would.
The typical rotation is 14 days on, 21 days off, so for every two weeks that you work, you'll have three off, which is approximately 3/5 of the year. Most jobs don't even give their employees one, three-week vacation a year. Of course rotation times will vary depending on the remoteness of the location, as well as other factors. Salaries will also vary depending on the number of days worked, the amount of education a person has, and of course which job is being done. But that's not so bad when you consider that even entry-level positions can pay as much as $60,000 a year, while some specialists make well over $100,000 annually. And that's within the first year of a career.
Did You Know? It is estimated that the United States has about 113 billion barrels of oil and 1,074 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that is yet to be recovered.
Life offshore isn't for everyone, regardless of all the amazing job benefits. At times the sea can be rough, the living quarters can be small and the work can be stressful. However, life on the sea can also be very comfortable, with very good cuisine, air-conditioning, television, game rooms and even access to email and Internet. The people who live offshore have most of the luxuries of life that people have come to expect.
You'll need some skills for living out on a platform, such as the ability to handle physical activity and perform in water or at extreme heights, the ability to rely on teamwork to survive, and the ability to work with hazardous materials in high-risk situations. Companies know that these jobs can be hazardous and stressful, and that's why they work very hard to create a positive work environment that concentrates on safety, continuous education and a balance between work and a personal life.
Now that you understand the basics of working on an oil rig platform and the different job opportunities there, let's take a look at the most popular drill crew positions. We'll discuss roughneck jobs next.
Offshore Oil Platform Job Summary:
- Enjoy all the comforts of home while working away at sea.
- Entry-level positions are available with plenty of opportunities to advance.
- You'll have more than half of the year off, so you'll be free to explore and pursue other interests.
- There is an earning potential of over $60,000 a year.
- You can live in a community of hardworking people who want to better themselves.