Jobs in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry – How do I get one!!??

Well firstly why would I want a job offshore? Here’s why:


  • Equal time rosters are a minimum
  • Base salaries of $120,000 are a minimum
  • Travel and adventure are a minimum
  • You have 6 months of the year to do whatever you want


However this is balanced with:


  • Long travel on fly in/fly out days
  • Potentially dangerous conditions
  • Sea sickness – depending on what type of vessel you are on



Offshore Oil and Gas basically falls into 3 main categories:


Exploration: This is the drilling rigs that drill exploratory and sometimes productions wells once oil/gas has been found. They are a major employer in the industry and need upwards of 100 people per rig. Entry level jobs are typically known as ‘roustabouts’ where you are either a general hand at the marine or deck crew/crane crew level. Pretty much everyone has to start off as a roustabout (unless you start off in the laundry or the kitchen).


Once you have done your time as a roustabout you may move on to various other positions on the rig for example:


  • Motor man – if you have mechanical experience you may strive for this position as it the stepping stone to becoming a ‘rig mechanic’ – basically you are a mechanical roustabout – going around checking all the oil/fluid levels on various equipment on the rig and performing basic mechanical tasks
  • Welder/Boilermaker – if you have fabrication experience you may be wanting the ‘rig welders’ job – they are responsible for all welding and fabrication jobs required to keep the rig running
  • RSTC – Rig Safety Training Co-ordinator – if you have WHS qualifications this may be the right step for you
  • Roughneck – entry level position on the drill floor – day to day they are the work horses of the drilling operation, running pipe, setting/pulling slips etc. most people come from land rigs. Rig floor positions are also the best way to move up the ladder and gain international employment.
  • Derrick man – if you have plant/process experience, this may help you get promoted from roughneck to derrick man – the derrick man is basically in charge of the drilling mud system which circulates mud (pressure) down the hole to circulate the cuttings from the drill bit and balance pressure from any gas seeping into the well.
  • Storeman – If you have logistics experience you may end up running the rig stores


Companies to check out:

  • Direct: Diamond Offshore, Transocean, Ensco
  • Labour Hire: GRN, OMS, TMS


Construction: This is the big money ticket. Once a field has been marked as productive and the company wants to bring the wells online, they will need to build a series of underwater flow lines, manifolds and a pipeline network that leads to either an Floating Production Storage Offload (FPSO) Facility, or if it is a massive field the company may pipe the product back to land for an onshore processing facility e.g. Gorgon/Wheatstone/Icthys.


You will generally either work on a pipe lay barge or some type of Dive Support Vessel (DSV) or special heavy lift barge which may have divers/cranes/underwater robots on board. Typical jobs are riggers, welders, winch operators, barge operators, crane operators etc. Generally these are shorter term contracts but they pay big money to compensate and are generally Maritime Union Australia (MUA) covered.


Companies to check out:

Direct: Acergy, McDermott, Technip, Clough, Sapura, Herrima, DOF, Fugro, All Seas

Labour Hire: Brunel, Skilled Offshore


Production/Maintenance: Once the wells have been drilled, pipelines and infrastructure laid, the client will move into the production phase of the project and run the job themselves. There are generally less jobs on offer at this phase, however they generally have long term employment prospects and awesome rosters e.g. FPSOs have 3 on 3 off, then 3 on 6 off over a 15 week turnaround. Typically plant & process and mechanical experience are great here as you would be involved with the day to day running of an operational oil/gas plant.


Companies to check out:

Direct: Woodside, Conoco Phillips, Inpex, Shell (Prelude), BHP, ESSO, Apache, ENI

Labour Hire: TechSide, Skilled Offshore, Quadrant


So what qualifications are you going to need? As a minimum to work offshore you are going to need your:


  • HUET (Helicopter Underwater Evacuation Technique)/BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training) – The HUET is the helicopter training that you need to go through in order to be able to board a helicopter that will fly you to the offshore installation. This is a really fun course where they submerge you in a helicopter to simulate a crash in the ocean and show you escape techniques. The BOSIET is all your emergency training associated with working offshore. Just make sure you do the BOSIET and not the TBOSIET. “T” stands for “Tropical” which only allows you to board a chopper in warm water, the BOSIET involves a dry suit, so that you may work in cold water e.g. Bass Strait. Courses generally take between 2-4 days and are around $1500 and up.
  • CSTP (Common Safety Training Program) – Never used to be mandatory but now is, basically just an add on to the BOSIET
  • MSIC (Marine Security Identification Card) – Not mandatory but becoming more so, basically for anyone who is working around a port/maritime facility, must do a police clearance check
  • Current Passport


On top of that if you have mechanical, fabrication or plant and process qualifications these are great, if you have the experience but not the qualification then you would want to get them recognised into a certificate. Standards are extremely high in the industry so the more paperwork you have to better.


Things that also may be required:


  • Potentially some Leadership & Management and WHS qualifications will be looked at favourably
  • Current UKOOA Medical (United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association)
  • Riggers/Scaffolders/Crane Drivers/Forklift/EWP High Risk Work License Tickets
  • Confined Space/Working at Heights/Rope Access Tickets
  • Various other industry tickets e.g. Fire Team Member, Helicopter Landing Officer, Low Voltage Rescue, Fire Extinguisher training.


There is also other ‘onshore type’ work generally involved around barges, supply barges, on shore construction barges, piling or crane barges. Generally these are more maritime focused qualifications – as a minimum you now require a STCW95 (Standards for Training, Certification & Watchkeeping 1995) or your IR (Integrate Rating – Cert III Maritime Studies) qualifications.


If you have the skills in the Plant & Process, Mechanical, Fabrication or WHS department but not the qualification to go with it then give us a call.


Thanks from Qualified Today.


(Please note: All information is of a general nature. We are not advertising for employment opportunities just a free letter for our current and past clients to keep them up to date of employment opportunities in the industry)



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