Be an Offshore Oil Rig Apprentice
Offshore oil rig apprentices perform a variety of entry-level work learned through on-the-job training. These types of positions include general laborers known as roustabouts and rotary-driller helpers known as roughnecks. Working on an offshore oil rig may require working in remote locations, putting in long hours and performing physically challenging tasks.
|Degree Level||High school diploma or equivalent preferred but not required|
|Experience||Basic knowledge of oil rig operations and heavy equipment operation|
|Key Skills||Excellent physical condition, good eye-hand coordination, strong attention to detail, basic mechanical knowledge, interpersonal skills|
|Salary||$36,510 per year (2015 median for roustabouts)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2015), CareerBuilder.com job postings in December 2012
Individuals interested in becoming apprentices on offshore oil rigs may first want to find training programs related to oil rig operations. These programs are intended for potential oil rig workers as well as for others who need a basic understanding of the work involved in offshore oil rig operations. They are offered at only a few universities and community colleges and cover subjects such as offshore exploration, drilling, offshore regulations, maritime and state law and emergency responses. Other programs cover topics such as safety, rig systems and components, CPR, basic electrical skills and more.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
- Biological and Agricultural Engineering
- Biomedical and Medical Engineering
- Ceramic Sciences
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Drafting and Design Engineering
- Electrical Engineering and Electronics
- Engineering - Architectural
- Engineering Mechanics
- Engineering Physics
- Environmental Engineering
- Forest Engineering
- Geological Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Materials Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metallurgical Engineering
- Mining Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Ocean Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Plastics Engineering
- Systems Engineering
- Textile Technologies
Pursue Apprenticeship Programs
A handful of community colleges offer apprenticeship programs for jobs related to offshore oil rig operations. Individuals may pursue boilermaker apprenticeships, programs that teach metal fabricating skills needed to build and repair offshore drilling platforms. They may also look into piledriver apprenticeships, programs that cover construction skills needed to provide foundation support to a variety of structures, including offshore oil rigs. These apprenticeship programs take three or four years to complete.
Help wanted ads for offshore oil rigs may be viewed at numerous websites. If you don't have a specific skill, such as welding or metal fabricating, starting jobs will typically be as entry-level roustabouts. These types of entry-level jobs require physical, mental and manual dexterity and the ability to work long days. Applicants must pass drug screening and physical assessment tests. Some employers also required that applicants be able to read, write, and speak English to understand verbal and written instructions.
Advance Your Career
Another way for individuals to prepare for offshore oil rig jobs is to obtain formal training from a certification program like those accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). These certification programs prepare individuals for work in the oil or gas industry. The IADC RigPass program teaches new employees about safe working practices in the oil rig industry. For more experienced workers, the IADC WellCAP program provides proper training for well control and drilling practices. Successful completion of an accredited training program earns the worker a certificate of completion.
Remember that offshore oil rig apprentices often start out in entry-level positions unless they first acquire skills through training and apprenticeship programs.