Jobs and Salary when working Offshore (Part 2)

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A scaffolder is a building professional who specializes in putting up and breaking down scaffolds and platforms. On an oil platform, it is possible that a scaffolding set up is not only upwards, but also floating next to and / or even under the Rig (under the floating platform above the sea water). A scaffolder follows strict rules due to safety precautions. It is an arduous task which may even be performed during bad weather. Good hand-eye coordination is very important, as well as a good physical condition. Scaffolders work hard but always keep safety in mind. The experienced scaffolder earns a base salary around U.S. $ 41,500 / EUR € 30.000 per year.

Cooks & Bakers:

Every day cooks and bakers prepare high quality meals for all personnel at a Rig. The mood and energy of the workers is closely related to good food. Since most workers on a Rig work 12 hours on, 12 hours off, it is important that they eat a proper meal. The cooks and bakers at the oil platform perform the daily task to prepare a good meal, sometimes even better than at a luxury restaurant. The salary for a cook on a Rig is around U.S. $ 60,000 / EUR € 44.500 per year. Bakers earn a slightly lower salary, but there’s only a minor difference.

Rig Mechanic:

The Mechanic performs routine maintenance, often preventively in order to ensure that the machinery and equipment continue to function properly. With the help of a checklist the Mechanic checks engines, hydraulics, systems, supplying the necessary fluids / oil filter replacement, and other maintenance tasks. He often works alone or with an assistant. Mechanics find themselves in confined spaces, in narrow crawl spaces, but also at high altitudes, such as on roofs, ladders, towers etc. A Rig Mechanic earns U.S. $ 47,000 / EUR € 34.900 per year. In the case of a more experienced or more accountable (supervisory) position, the Rig Mechanic will earn a higher income (also called Senior Mechanic position).

Rig Electrician:

An Electrician on the Rig troubleshoots, installs, solves problems and performs tests. In addition, he repairs electrical and electronic equipment and systems on board the rig. The Rig Electrician may also work on electric transmissions and distribution equipment. He has to log all the work he’s done, and submit this to his superiors. As Rig Electrician you earn around U.S. $ 55,000 / EUR € 41.000 per year depending on qualifications and experience.


There are a lot of Engineer positions on a Rig. Think of Drilling Engineers, Pump Engineers, Chief Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Field Engineers, Mud Engineers, Pipeline Engineers and Petroleum Engineers (just to name a few). The work of an Engineer and the tasks he performs are obviously different per job function and the workplace where the Engineer is stationed. The average Engineers salary differs per position. Depending on the tasks he performs, one may earn anywhere from $ 57,500 / EUR € 42.500 up to U.S. $ 90,000 / EUR € 66.500 (and above) per year which may vary due to position, experience and training. There are even functions where a Senior Engineer earns close to U.S. $ 200,000 / EUR € 147.600 per year.


A Rigger is the person on a Rig which is responsible for the transfer of extremely large, or very heavy objects (such as, for example, the rig itself). The Rigger has specialized in this task. A task which cannot be performed according to standard methods, because the objects are heavy – ranging up to sometimes thousands of pounds. For this, he uses special equipment which is made to move and lift heavy objects. Since this work is a specialization, it’s generally only learned while practicing on the job (internship) because the experienced Rigger will teach the trainee how to act and what to do. Riggers work in teams, where cooperation is very important, since it is often dangerous work where one has to rely on his colleagues. The experienced Rigger earns roughly U.S. $ 72,000 / EUR € 53.000 salary per year.

Rig Welder:

In this role you’re often permanently stationed on a Rig. A welder performs repairs and takes care of the construction of new metal. It could happen, in case of large projects, that teams of welders are hired. If that’s the case, the welder will go from Rig to Rig depending on the project(s). The position as a welder falls under Entry Level jobs. Even without specific training (apart from a welding educational program) one can be put to work on a rig. The salary for the Rig Welder is close around U.S. $ 62,000 / EUR € 45.500 depending on experience.

OIM (Offshore Installation Manager):

This individual must officially be registered as OIM at the ‘Offshore Safety Division’. He is responsible for the health, welfare and safety of all personnel on board the Oil Rig. The function is not available as Entry Level, nor is it possible to be promoted to OIM. One should follow special training including official registration as OIM before he can carry out his duties. The salary of an Offshore Installation Manager is between U.S. $ 75,000 and U.S. $ 100,000 per year (respectively EUR € 54.900 to EUR € 73.250).

HSE Officer (Health, Safety & Environmental):

As a HSE Officer; you support, advise and inform, all staff in the area – of the working conditions and safety. You initiate and analyze specific issues, and you support the implementation and optimization of VCA certification. You follow developments regarding safety regulations and review them at the current conditions on board of the Rig. You also analyze incidents and you research accidents to prevent those from happening in the future. On a Rig there is but one rule: Safety First! The income of the HSE Officer varies from U.S. $ 68,000 / EUR € 52.000 and higher per year.

In this position; you assemble, create, repair and maintain pipelines and systems. For this job one should be well trained, either via experience-based training and / or via education. The Journeyman Pipe Fitter get to do mostly with industrial pipelines and heating / cooling systems. He installs or repairs piping or tubing systems which contain liquids, gasses, and occasionally solid materials. The work involves selecting and preparing pipes or tubing, connecting different resources in different locations. In addition, the Pipe Fitter repairs or prevents leaks. Depending on his experience, a Pipe Fitter receives a basic salary around U.S. $ 54,000 / EUR € 39.500 per year. A Senior Pipe Fitter will earn about U.S. $ 15,000 / EUR € 11.000 more.

Storekeeper / Warehouseman:

In this role, you are responsible for maintaining the warehouse aboard an Oil Rig. The Storekeeper keeps available stock in order and processes new incoming provisions. It is important that you can use a computer, so that inventories and order forms can be tracked. It may vary from Rig to Rig, but this is usually an Entry Level position, but with room to grow further. As Storekeeper / Warehouseman one usually starts as Materials Handler, where one can grow to be a Senior Storekeeper. Note that this function is sometimes filled by women (who are a large minority at Rigs). In addition, this worker is on 24-hour standby for accepting incoming goods and / or issuing materials. Average salary in this function as Storekeeper / Warehouseman is U.S. $ 59,000 / EUR € 43.300 per year.

Other Jobs and Positions:

There are plenty of jobs on a Rig, ranging from Entry Level to Management. In many cases, one can grow from an Entry Level position to a much higher position on an Oil Rig platform. One of the rules is that the worker meets the Entry Level examinations, Offshore Safety Training, any training or needed Certification. For hard workers and the go getters there are challenging job for grabs, and this is often rewarded with a very good salary.

If you would like to start of in an Entry Level position, you will benefit if you know someone who already works at an Oil Rig. Such an introduction will often mean that you can get hired more quickly, provided that you are willing to prove yourself and make sure that you meet strict safety guidelines and certification. Ensure yourself from having a professional looking resume that stands out, and you’ve already won half the battle.

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