Working on an oil rig is rarely considered a career. Nevertheless, the prospects of workers who successfully gain oil rig employment are very bright for the coming decade. Demand for oil remains high from first world nations and the gigantic economies formerly third world nations like China and India are also insatiably guzzling oil as they rapidly move to join the ranks of first world nations. Until new oil rigs, pipelines, refineries and depots are built, supply remains tighter than the world is used to for the past decade.
Although prospects for oil rig employment are bright, it does not mean that you can just show up at the doorstep of Shell's HR office and expect them to give you a job. It is not as easy as some oil rig employment and shipping sites want you to believe. Oil and gas companies may be desperate for people to crew their oil rigs, but this does not mean they are going to relax their safety standards. This is not because they are good samaritans. Most oil companies are subject to laws of the countries where they operate their offices and their oil rigs. And oil rigs in the middle of the ocean are partially governed by international treaties. Besides, they do not want some fresh-faced idiot making some mistake and damaging their precious multi-billion dollar oil rig or causing an oil spill which could get them fined billions of dollars. Its just not good business practice.
Most companies do give some form of training. After all, not every oil rig works exactly the same. Even if you have some previous oil rig experience, they want to make sure you know the details of the rig they put you on. Apart from on the job training for your duties aboard the oil rig, you normally also need to have some form of offshore medical certificate, offshore survival certificate and helicopter underwater escape training certificate. The exact form of the certificates partly depends on which company you work for and where you are deployed. In addition, you may need to have an up-to-date passport, visa and vaccinations.
If all of these legal requirements sound pretty overwhelming to you, you should consider getting hired for land-based oil rig employment instead. The perks will not be as good as an offshore oil rig, but there are fewer dangers and you gain valuable general experience of oil rig jobs. Once you are comfortable with your level of experience, you can switch to the additional challenges of an offshore oil rig. If you do it this way, it is also easier to figure out what other legal requirements and certifications you need to meet. Additionally, your employer is more likely to pay for your certifications.
Demand is hot right now. Make sure your bags are packed, and all your other affairs like automated mortgage payments, phone bills, etc are settled. If you applied for an overseas job, make sure your passports and visa are valid. If you are hired for the job, your boss will want you moving immediately, preferably within hours of notification. You do not want to be in the middle of the ocean and then only remember that you forgot to settle your housing or whatever local tax because you were too rushed for time.
Basically, if you are serious about oil rig employment, get all your required legal certifications and requirements for your jurisdiction settled ahead of time. The oil industry is hot right now, and employers do not have time to wait for their workers to settle their affairs.
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