How to Become an Offshore Worker

In this blog we will cover the basic steps you can take and provide some useful information on the topic of how to become an offshore worker. We will include working on both oil and gas and wind farms. The focus will be on how to get into working in this industry with no experience, apprenticeship schemes and hints and tips on what you will need to get your foot through the door.

 

How to Become an Offshore Worker: Oil

 

Before we discuss the possible entry points for becoming an offshore oil worker, there are a number of basic conditions you must satisfy before you go ahead and apply. These include:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age;
  • There is a height requirement due to some of the tasks you will be performing – you must be 1.63cm or 5’5”;
  • You must be both physically and mentally fit: you will have to pass a physical exam before being offered a position. This is known as the BOSIET (basic offshore induction and emergency training) and will test intense survival and firefighting skills;
  • You should be a non-smoker and able to abstain from alcohol for the duration of the time in which you are working;
  • You must be comfortable working at height and in adverse weather conditions;
  • You should be able to cope with the on/off unusual working patterns.

However, if you are prepared to put the hard work in, a job in this industry can be incredibly lucrative. If you feel that you can satisfy these conditions and want to know more, read on.

 

Entry Route 1: How to Become an Offshore Worker: Oil

 

If you are thinking of becoming an offshore oil worker and have some small experience in the construction industry, you may be able to secure a position by starting as a Roughneck or a Roustabout.

The day to day tasks you would be performing in this role would include maintaining the equipment, including regular cleaning, repairing the equipment used for pumping the oil, preparing the drilling equipment for use and generally assisting the drilling team. You may also be involved in the use of specialist lifting gear in order to unload goods from ships.

You will need to be a practical person, and be good at learning how to use new machinery. As stated before, the job is a manual one, so you must also be physically fit. You will be working as part of a team so any skills or experience doing so would be an advantage.

You will have to commit to work away from home for a number of weeks at a time. A typical working pattern will consist of working on a platform or rig for 2 to 3 weeks followed by a rest period on shore for around 3 weeks. In your working period you may be working for up to 12 hours a day on a 24 hour shift rota.

Once you have gained experience in a position such as this, it will open up potential opportunities for progression, such as being directly involved in the drilling team.

 

Entry Route 2: How to Become an Offshore Worker: Oil

 

Another route into becoming an offshore oil worker is through an apprenticeship scheme. This entry route is common in the offshore industries, as it can provide you with in depth on the job training on many aspects of the job and has great prospects for the future.

There are many apprenticeship schemes available in the UK for potential applicants, where your daily duties will be similar to those mentioned before. You will be often training to become a derrickman or woman, driller or assistant driller. As such you will be working around 25 metres above the floor level on a platform.

How to Become an Offshore Worker Oil

You will gain experience assisting with operating and lifting the machinery to place the drill into position, keep records of the day to day drilling processes, and working to stack sections of the drill pipe amongst other things. If you then progress onto a driller position you would be directly involved in coordinating the activities of other staff on the drill floor.

Again, bear in mind that you would most likely be doing a shift pattern in this role, with a 2 to 3 week on, 3 week off working pattern.

 

Entry Route 3: How to Become an Offshore Worker: Oil

 

If neither of these options suit you, there are also a number of other positions available in the offshore oil industry. If you have any kind of basic mechanical skills – you are a welder, scaffolder, painter or medical worker, then this industry has potential for you as well.

 

How to Become an Offshore Wind Farm Worker

 

Similar to becoming an offshore oil worker, if you wish to find a position at a wind farm you should be prepared, at least initially, for a lot of manual work.

Take a look at the following basic conditions of work:

  • You will potentially be performing hazardous work;
  • You will be prepared to work at height (some turbines are more than 140 metres high);
  • You will be working with electrical equipment most of which will be high voltage;
  • You should be prepared for spending some time away from home;
  • In an average week you would probably work around 40 hours, Monday to Friday, but may have to make yourself available for emergency callouts.

The wind farm industry is growing tremendously in recent times along with the focus on the environment and as such this is a position which is very much in demand. The Government set targets to cut carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, and the Paris Climate Change agreement also sees a number of countries in agreement to decrease the number of global emissions in order to protect the environment.

Day to day tasks would involve things like: learning how to perform inspections on systems, finding issues on turbines and repairing and maintaining the equipment – and, as mentioned, you will be climbing up the turbine towers in order to carry out some of these repairs. You will probably have to travel to other sites in order to fix any issues that arise. You will have to continuously update the manager of the site and learn to produce reports and checklists of the progress of the maintenance.

If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, then keep on reading to see how you could get involved.

 

Entry Route 1:How to Become an Offshore Worker: Wind Farm: Wind Power Training School

 

The Wind Power Training School is run by Siemens and is a purpose built centre for training up new recruits to get into the industry. Based in Newcastle, it focuses on two main areas for training: technical and safety skills. They aim to focus on ‘real-life’ scenarios in order to equip students with all the skills they will need to enter the wind energy industry.

Siemens were the first company in the UK to offer an apprenticeship programme in 2010, collaborating with City and Guilds to provide a course offering a recognised programme leading into a career in the wind industry.

The recruitment process in order to become a renewables apprentice at Siemens will likely include things such as psychometric tests (see our books on this on our website) as well as hands on site work and work at established sites around the UK.

Find out more about the scheme here: Siemens Apprenticeships

 

Entry Route 2:How to Become an Offshore Worker: Wind Farm

 

Maersk is also another key company which offers a training program for those looking to get into the wind turbine industry.

To participate in the training scheme, students are required to have GCSE’s (or an equivalent) to a C to include English Language, Science and Mathematics. Some sort of qualification or experience in ICT would also be an advantage. It will take four years to become fully qualified as a wind turbine technician.

They look for people who are able to demonstrate a high level of commitment and enthusiasm for the role, and as such will be looking for skills such as physical fitness, the ability to be able to pay attention to detail and adhere to strict safety regulations and many more.

Find out more about the scheme here: MAERSK Offshore Wind Training

 

Summary

 

There are a variety of entry points for getting into the offshore industries, and, as we have shown, many of them require little or no experience. Many companies are happy to train up staff with the right attitude and who possess the ability to be able to carry out a range of manual tasks.

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How to Become an Offshore Worker Guide to Getting Any Offshore Worker Job With No Experience

29 thoughts on “How to Become an Offshore Worker

  1. Dave Davies says:

    Hi Katie,

    I am extremely interested in working offshore as a offshore wind farm worker, I have no offshore experience but I am eager to learn and do what is necessary to achieve this goal, my background is in engineering as a mechanical fitter and maintenance engineer, I am very hands on and I am physically fit, I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me in helping me achieve a carrier at sea,

    Best Regards,

    Dave Davies.

    • Katie Noakes says:

      Hello Dave,

      Generally, most offshore worker positions require 2 years experience. This is usually done by applying for offshore worker apprenticeships. However, this is not always compulsory. You could begin by applying for jobs as a roustabouts or roughnecks.

      In order to work offshore, you must pass an offshore survival and fire-fighting course, or basic offshore induction and emergency training (BOSIET).

      There are a variety of jobs available to you which I recommend you research into:
      – Offshore Wind Farm Worker
      – Offshore Oil Worker
      – Roughneck or Roustabout

      If none of these options suit you, there are also a number of other positions available in the offshore oil industry. If you have any kind of basic mechanical skills – you are a welder, scaffolder, painter or medical worker, then this industry has potential for you as well.

      We are currently working on an entry level careers guide for becoming an offshore worker. I would keep an eye on our website for this as this will provide step-by-step details about the different routes into offshore work, including eligibility criteria, training and other requirements.

      I also recommend you take a look at the national careers website for a brief overview of becoming an offshore worker:
      https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/offshore-drilling-worker

      • ricardo ribeiro says:

        hi Katie I’m looking for the chance to work offshore. I have been a water treatment engineer for 12 years and have a great understanding of heati g and cooling closed and open systems and anything to fo with air and commissioning would there be a position for me?

        • Jordan Cooke says:

          Hi Ricardo,

          Thanks for your comment. It really depends on the needs of specific offshore rigs. Based on the skillset you have, we are confident that you could find a position working on an offshore rig – as there are a huge variety of roles to choose from. Offshore companies are always looking for specialists, so have a look around and see what you can find!

          Sincerely,

          The How2Become Team.

      • Katie Noakes says:

        Hello Mohamed and Gary,

        Thank you for showing an interest in our offshore worker blog.

        If you are thinking of becoming an offshore oil worker and have some small experience in the construction industry, you may be able to secure a position by starting as a Roughneck or a Roustabout.

        Another route into becoming an offshore oil worker is through an apprenticeship scheme. This entry route is common in the offshore industries, as it can provide you with in depth on the job training on many aspects of the job and has great prospects for the future.

        If the above options are not ideal for you, then you may still be able to find a position to suit you. If you have any kind of experience with welding, scaffolding, painting or medical work, then the offshore industry may still have a position available for you.

        Currently, we are working on creating an entry level guide for how to become an offshore worker. If you would like to be informed about when you can pre-order this guide, please send us an email to info@how2become.com, and we will email you as soon as our book becomes available.

        All the best,

  2. steven reed says:

    hi my name is steven and i want to ask you if you have not anything like this jobs have i got a change off coming a part of the team of oil rigs am so want to do this jobs i would gave you 110% and am very hard working my lost jobs is working for retail am getting bore of it . i like the sound of doing a job offshore work .i have been in the army and weather do not bother me .i am already to learn anything you can teach me .i wish for a change to work for you

  3. Mr. Sumit More says:

    Sumit More
    Hi mam, I am also one of them who interested to work in offshore field. as well as don’t have any experience in offshore field .I have some offshore safety training certificate, please mam do you have some right pathwhich will help me to achieve my goals please show me.
    Best regards,
    Sumit More

    • Katie Noakes says:

      Hello Sumit,

      Not a problem – lots of people who wish to become an offshore worker begin with little to no experience.

      There are different routes into this type of work, most commonly through apprenticeship schemes. You can also begin your offshore career by applying for jobs as a roustabout or roughneck. For more information of becoming a roughneck and what this entails, please check out the following link –
      https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/offshore-roughneck

      The national careers website is also a great place to find the basic requirements and training needed to become an offshore worker.

      If you do have any further questions, feel free to drop me another message, and I’ll get back to you asap!

  4. Michael dyson says:

    Hi. I’m eager to work offshore within the oil and gas industry. I have worked in construction all my life, and want a career change. I feel I have a lot of transferable skills, I’m hard working, enthusiastic and confidant I’m the work place. Working offshore is something I’ve always dreamed of, bit never felt in the position to do so. However now I feel the the time is right to persue the dream career I’ve always wanted. I would appreciate any help, advice or direction on how to go about making the first steps towards the career as it seems to be proving a bit of a mind field.
    Kind regards
    Mike

    • Katie Noakes says:

      Hello Mike,

      Thank you for your message.

      My apologies for the late reply. Working in a construction field is a great way to improve your chances of becoming an offshore worker.

      If you are thinking of becoming an offshore oil worker and have some small experience in the construction industry, you may be able to secure a position by starting as a Roughneck or a Roustabout. By applying for a job such as these, will allow you to get your foot-in-the-door and work your way up to becoming an offshore worker.

      There are different entry routes into becoming an offshore worker. Details of which can be found on our video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkkqzY86lP0&t=9s

      We are currently writing a guide for how to become an offshore worker, and this will outline the main areas that you will need to know in order to be a successful candidate. If you would like us to inform you of when this is to be released, please email us at info@how2become.com and we can inform you as soon as the book is out for pre-order!

      If you have any further queries, please let me know.

    • Katie Noakes says:

      Hello Joseph,

      Thank you for your message.

      The majority of our knowledge is based on UK employment, however you may find some of it beneficial to you.

      There are some basic conditions that you will need to meet in order to become an offshore worker. These include the following:
      -There is a height requirement due to some of the tasks you will be performing – you must be 1.63cm or 5’5”;
      -You must be both physically and mentally fit: you will have to pass a physical exam before being offered a position. This is known as the BOSIET (basic offshore induction and emergency training) and will test intense survival and firefighting skills;
      -You should be a non-smoker and able to abstain from alcohol for the duration of the time in which you are working;
      -You must be comfortable working at height and in adverse weather conditions;
      -You should be able to cope with the on/off unusual working patterns.

      I have left a comment above outlining the different processes into becoming an offshore worker including how to apply for apprenticeships or gain entry by becoming a roustabout or roughneck.

      As mentioned in my comment to another customer, we are currently working on an entry level guide for becoming an offshore worker, so I would keep an eye on our website to pre-order this guide!

      If you have any further queries, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

  5. Seanie says:

    I have great intrest in working offshore riggs i have no experience but have worked in constuction i would live this as a new career change

    • Joshua Brown says:

      Hi there, thank you for your comment. Hold tight for a new guide we are working on. We are putting together a complete step-by-step entry-level guide to becoming an offshore worker which we will release soon – stay tuned!

  6. Sam says:

    Can anybody tell me what i need to do or where to go or who to talk to, to work off shore. Iam a fully qualified Electrician and Maintenance Technician with experience in the industrial and commercial sector. Been searching the net for days and seem to be going round in circles, all this 5 years experience offshore. Thanks

  7. junior says:

    I have interest in working offshore riggs i have no experience but have experience working as project coordinator onshore for 5 years i would live this as a new challenge

  8. Andy says:

    Hi,
    Could someone point me in the right direction to working on the oil rigs, I have no experience but would love this opportunity as a career change but literally have no idea where to start?

    Many thanks

    Andy

  9. John Smith says:

    Hi,

    I have just turned 30 and I am currently a sales manager and have worked in the sales department for steel construction companies since leaving university in 2007. I am now looking to change my career completely. Do you have any recommendations for a role in working offshore and how i can go about exploring this as a career option?

    • Joshua Brown says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your message, have you looked into the role of a wind farm worker? It’s become much sought after in the UK and pays well.

      We will be releasing a full insider’s guide on How to Become an Offshore Worker by the end of August which will detail all the main roles, what to expect from the selection process and more importantly how to pass the selection process – including the assessments and interview stages. We have recently updated the blog with a capture form so if you enter your details there, you will be notified when the guide comes out and we will also provide you with an exclusive discount 🙂

  10. george says:

    age 24. I was in the Army for 7 years and no I’m out I have been a barber in a very busy shop for nearly 2 years. I’m looking for a career change and working on the rigs is a job that has caught my eye. being in the Army I am used to working away from home for months at a time, also working as a team is the only way I know how to work. I just want to know where I can apply it talk to someone about applying for a offshore role.

  11. Connor whent says:

    Hello my name is Connor, I am currently a welder/fabricator. I studied at college for 3 years and have gained my level 3 diploma in welding and fabricating. Since leaving college I have worked at a company welding and fabricating for 2 years now. I would really like to work offshore in the welding side of things. How would I go about achieving this ? Thank you

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Connor, thanks for your comment.

      Since you already have experience in welding and fabricating, you’ve already got a bit of a head-start when it comes to getting a job doing welding on an off-shore rig. In many cases, you won’t need experience on an off-shore rig either, so you’re in a great position to apply.

      You’ll need to make sure that you have welding qualifications. For example, Maersk Drilling will require a valid welders qualification certificate. Companies such as Maersk will have mailing lists for job openings, so you can head over to their websites and sign up there: http://www.maerskdrilling.com/en/jobs-and-careers/explore-the-different-offshore-positions/maintenance-version-2/welder

      Hope you’ve found this helpful, good luck with the job hunt!

  12. Petula Donachie says:

    Hi.. I am currently working in the motor trade environment and have done in the office for 24 years now, I am a hard working, keen and highly driven person who achieve goals to the highest standards.. I would love to work offshore..!

    • Jacob Senior says:

      Hi Petula,

      Thank you for your comment. Hard-working, driven, and keen are all extremely important qualities that off-shore recruiters will be looking for. If you are looking for off-shore worker jobs, take a look at the recruitment pages that we’ve linked to in the blog post.

      We hope that you are successful in your job search!

      Jacob, How2Become.

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