Qualifications to work on an oil rig

Despite ongoing research into alternative fuel sources, oil and gas remain the world’s most important energy sources and demand is ever-increasing. In the UK alone, we rely on oil and gas for 70 per cent of our energy needs and we’ve used just over half of our reserves.

As such, the oil and gas industry employs a vast number of people worldwide across a wide range of careers, both onshore and off-shore. If you fancy the challenge of working on an oil rig, jobs can vary from an engineer to an environmental specialist, so it makes sense to do your research first. To find out what jobs are on offer, you may want to look on specialist recruitment sites, such as Anglo Technical Recruitment.

If you’re thinking about starting a career on an oil rig, there are a number of qualifications that could stand you in good stead for a variety of jobs.

Qualifications needed for offshore work

Electrical or mechanical engineering qualifications – a degree, a diploma or certificate in electrical or mechanical engineering would cover most of the positions on an offshore rig, including project managers and supervisors, fitters, welders, boilermakers and electrical or mechanical engineers.

Such qualifications could also land you a role among maintenance staff and crane operators, while there are also more general jobs available on deck for skilled or semi-skilled workers.

Oil and petrochemicalqualifications – a degree in petroleum engineering requires science skills, such as chemistry and physics, and usually takes around four years to complete. The qualification includes class work, lab work and fieldwork and can lead to offshore careers as an operator or subsurface engineer.

Geological qualifications – degrees in geology can also open up career opportunities on oil rigs in roles such as mud engineers and mud loggers. Although these don’t sound like the most glamorous of job titles, they are key roles in maintaining the safety and integrity of the rigs.

If you undergo any deep water scuba diving training as part of a geology course, this could also open up career possibilities on offshore rigs.

Medical qualifications – offshore oil rigs also require a number of doctors and paramedics on site in case something should go wrong and cause injury or ill-health.

There are also a range of IT jobs available on oil rigs, as well as catering and cleaning jobs, where on the job training can be given.

General skills and qualifications

Generally speaking, qualifications in science-based subjects are a must and because you will be faced with a lot of complex equipment during your day-to-day activities, you’ll need to be highly skilled and understand both the technology and processes.

You’ll also need to be able to work in a team and have the resilience for long spells away from home in harsh environments.

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