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Oil Rig Electrician: Job Description & Salary

Oil rig electricians perform a variety of tasks on an oil rig's electrical system. Read on to learn about some of their typical duties, the education and skills needed for this career, salary expectations and similar occupations.

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Career Definition of an Oil Rig Electrician

In addition to performing routine maintenance on the electrical systems, oil rig electricians are also responsible for a number of other tasks. Some may be tasked with producing technical materials. They create schematics to show the design of different electrical systems and they also document instructions on how to operate the systems. Oil rig electricians prioritize safety and may be responsible for providing safety training and conducting safety inspections.

Oil rig electricians will also upgrade systems, perform repairs and replace damaged parts. They are responsible for maintaining sufficient stock of the parts needed. Oil rig electricians are also responsible for knowing all applicable regulations and following those regulations in their work. Preparing maintenance budgets may be one of their responsibilities and those with experience may also be responsible for overseeing the work of other electricians.

Educational Requirements Electrician's license
Job Skills Organizational skills, safety skills, budgeting skills, communication skills, attention to detail, physical fitness, good vision
Mean Salary (2016)* $56,650 (electricians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 9% (electricians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Those interested in a career as an oil rig electrician can start out by pursuing an apprenticeship or completing postsecondary studies. Ultimately, a combination of postsecondary training and hours of paid training must be completed to fulfill the requirements to qualify for this career. Electricians earn their license by passing a exam. Electricians working on oil rigs will be required to complete safety training and earn the Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training (BOSIET) certificate. Additional safety certifications may be required or recommended.

Required Skills

Oil rigs are dangerous work environments so it is crucial that oil rig electricians are safety conscious. They need to pay close attention to detail to ensure thorough inspections and workplace practices. Excellent communication skills are key since they interact with coworkers, provide safety training and produce written documents. The career also involves developing budgets, so strong budgeting and mathematical skills are an asset. Oil rig electricians need superior organizational skills so that they can ensure they have sufficient supplies on hand.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides occupational information for all electricians. As of 2016, the BLS indicated electricians earned an average annual income of $56,650. The BLS also reported that as of 2016, the average annual income for electricians employed in the oil and gas extraction industry was $69,550. From 2016 to 2026 the BLS expects all electricians to see a job growth rate of 9%.

Related Careers

If a career as an oil rig electrician sounds appealing there are a number of other careers that involve electrical skills, installation and repair tasks and drafting skills that may also appeal to you. Through the links listed here you can learn more about careers that share some similar training requirements and duties with oil rig electricians.

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