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Careers in Welding: Top Five Reasons Why You Should Become a Welder on an Offshore Drilling Rig

Oil Rig

Whether you’ve heard this before or not, it definitely warrants repeating: skilled trades workers are in high demand—especially in the Welding Trade. If you’re a trained welder, you will not only have no problem finding a job, you can pick and choose from a variety of interesting, exciting and lucrative employment options, with real growth potential. Remember: welding is more than a job—it’s a career!

And speaking of welding careers, did you know that becoming a welder on an offshore drilling rig is one the most exciting and lucrative career opportunities currently available in the welding trade? Sounds interesting huh? In fact, if you’re concerned about job security and are looking for a job opportunity that pays above average wage, working on an offshore drilling rig is one of the best welding jobs you can find in the welding industry today.

The following is a list of the Top Five Reasons why you should become a welder on an offshore drilling rig:

  1. Excitement: An offshore drilling platform is like its own little city; living and working on a drilling rig is a totally unique experience, unlike any you’ve had before. Definitely a lot more interesting and exciting than working in a fabrication shop, on a typical construction site, or making your average field repairs.
  2. Interesting work: Of course welding is welding, but you’ve probably never encountered a work situation like an offshore drill rig. As stated above, drilling platforms are like their own little cities, and the variety of welding projects you’ll be working on will not only keep you busy, but engage your interest and keep you on your toes—you’ll definitely learn a ton.
  3. Rate of Pay: The average pay for an oil rig welder is $62,000 per year—more than double the average rate for welders in most manufacturing and construction jobs.
  4. Job Security: While more and more manufacturing jobs are moving overseas, and as government stimulus funds underwriting many construction, road, and public works projects dry up, job security is a growing issue in the welding trade. In the offshore drilling industry, however, welders are in higher demand than ever before, making it easier than ever to secure a job, and keep it.
  5. Travel: If you love to travel, and have desire to see the world—working on a drilling rig may be the perfect job for you. Offshore drilling is conducted in every major ocean/sea across the globe. Offshore drilling rigs are currently located in the Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to South America, in the North Atlantic, off the Atlantic coast of Northeast Africa, in the Mediterranean Sea, and in the Indian Ocean (to name a few). Your travel options are limitless!

The Downside

As with most things in life, you’ve gotta take the good with the bad, and offshore rig welding is no different. In an effort to provide you with a total picture of the offshore rig work experience, the following list outlines some of the potential drawbacks and pitfalls you may encounter while working as a welder on an offshore drilling rig:

  • Experience: Oil rig-based welding jobs are not for entry-level welders. You need at least 3-5 years of practical manufacturing or construction welding experience to qualify for most drilling platform welding jobs. Most drilling companies prefer a welding certification (another reason to obtain your welding certification), but if you’ve got a lot of practical experience, you still have a good chance of landing a drilling rig job.
  • Strength and Physical Demands: If you’re in the twilight or your career, or have any physical limitation, welding on an offshore drilling rig is probably not the job for you. The work tends to be physically demanding, and can be quite dangerous. Mobility, agility and above average physical strength are all a must to succeed in this job.
  • Managing Personal and Romantic Relationships: Working on an offshore drilling rig is a job best suited for young, single men. If you’re married or in a serious relationship, you may be in for a rocky road, unless you have a very understanding wife or girlfriend. Most contracts are a minimum of three months, and many run six months or longer, taking you away from your wife/significant other, children, family and friends for an extended period of time. If you’re not prepared for this kind of estrangement, working on an oil drilling rig may not be the ticket for you.
  • Danger: Working on a drilling rig is serious business. Accidents causing severe injury or death, in addition to explosions and fires that can lead to complete destruction of the rig are a real possibility. It’s by no means an everyday occurrence, but it does happen.

But despite the downside, working on an offshore drilling rig represents an excellent welding career opportunity, and the experience gained from the job will make you eminently employable in almost any welding field.

For additional resources, or to find an offshore drilling rig welding job, visit RigWorker.com, they can definitely help put you on the path to finding the right job for you.

Dylan B.


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