Requirements to work on an Offshore Oil Rig

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Are you just starting out (Entry Level) without any experience and/or education, than your pickings are slim. But there are still some positions offshore, which may fit your skills. You could be starting out as Maintenance Roustabout, General Roustabout, Greenhand, Floorhand or Roughneck. All these jobs are easy to get into with highschool education or some college. Are you an experienced (onshore) welder or scaffolder, than you have a good chance to get hired. Port performance training and education is a plus, but not always necessary. Luckily, you can get on the job training if you’re motivated to do so.

There are a few basic requirements for someone who wants to work offshore. Firstly there is the Basic Offshore Safety and Induction & Emergency Training (BOSIET). This is a basic offshore survival training course which is required for working in the UK sector, Dutch sector and Danish sector. If you would like to work in Norway, then you will need to complete an OLF certificate course. For your first time offshore all you will need is your BOSIET for your survival training. This certificate is valid for 4 years.

Second item is an offshore medical certificate. This medical examination should be done by a doctor or medical centre which is registered with Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) formerly UKOOA. Recent changes in the Industry have resulted in many companies requesting that workers (new to the Offshore industry) also complete a MIST training course. MIST stands for Minimum Industry Safety Training.

If you never worked offshore you will require additional training for entry level candidates. If you have a trade (i.e welder, electrician, mechanic, medic etc) the industry recommends MIST training. This is an introduction to some of the safety systems used in the offshore environment. This course can be completed at a number of training facilities. If you do not have a trade you do require a Greenhands training course which is a more in depth course which prepares you for working in this hazardous environment.

In some countries you may need some extra certificates, like in The Netherlands and Belgium you will need a so called VCA or VCA-VOL training to be allowed to work in the harbor / port. It’s a basic training which stands for (roughly translated) “Safety, Health and Enviroment Checklist”. This certificate is not only related to harbor jobs, but could be required in other industries as well. In The Netherlands a VCA certificate is one of the most important certificates for working safe, and is therefore mandatory.

Would you like to work in the Maritime/Shipping industry? Then you will need STCW 95 Basic Training. This certificate is an International standard for anybody who wants to work on seagoing ships, fishing boats or yachts. Which means you will need it to work in Marine, Maritime and Seagoing jobs, but also when you ‘re a sailor or when you pilot seaworthy motor yachts.

When looking for a job which exceeds Entry Level, you will need an education which fits the desired job you’re applying too. Think of engineering jobs, or offshore painter. Want to be an Offshore Crane Operator? Than getting an Offshore Crane Operator Certificate is mandatory. Wanna get your hands dirty? Then you could start working as an (Assistant) Driller, but that entails getting a Well Control BOP Certificate and the IWCF certificate.

One more way to get into the Offshore business is by working in Catering. The strength of the men and keeping up moral is very important on a Rig. That’s why many companies spend a lot of money on good cooks, good food and an outstanding onboard kitchen. If you want to prepare or serve food to the crew, then catering is your line of work. In catering there are a lot of Entry Level jobs, think of washing dishes, cleaner, laundry, working as Assistant Cook, Galley hand or Chef trainee. When looking for a more specialized job in catering, you will need to learn for a job like Chef, Baker, Catering Manager, Steward or Cook.

In any case, and related to any job or position onboard a Rig, you will have the need to know what you’re doing. You will need the skills and experience which is needed for you to perform adequately at your job.

[+] Read more about the Positions onboard of an Offshore Oilrig.

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2 thoughts on “Requirements to work on an Offshore Oil Rig

  • September 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Good day!

    I’m a fresh graduate of electronics engineering here in the Philippines and I am very interested in applying for a job related to my course in the offshore field but I don’t have any idea on what offshore(oil) companies can I ask about positions/jobs that is available for someone like me. Can you please suggest for a possible offshore company where I can send my resume to?

    And thank you for this very informative website about offshore rig jobs.


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