Mining Oil and Gas Jobs Home | Blog | Contact Us
Mining Jobs
Mining & MetalsOil, Gas & EnergyConstructionLife in AustraliaCareer ResourcesTraining & Development

You are here: Home /
Get our blog delivered to your inbox

Recent Blog Posts

Rio to approve $US1b South of Embley project
Monadelphous has won a $200 million Shell contract on its Prelude floating LNG project
New Nickel Mine
AMMA Resource Industry Market Outlook
New Uranium Jobs

Post Archives

December 2015(0)
November 2015(3)
September 2015(3)
July 2015(0)
August 2015(3)
June 2015(3)
May 2015(3)
April 2015(5)
March 2015(4)
February 2015(4)
February 2015(0)
October 2015(0)
January 2015(2)
December 2014(3)
November 2014(3)
October 2014(9)
September 2014(7)
August 2014(8)
July 2014(8)
June 2014(7)
May 2014(9)
April 2014(10)
March 2014(10)
February 2014(9)
January 2014(7)
December 2013(7)
November 2013(12)
October 2013(11)
September 2013(9)
August 2013(14)
July 2013(19)
June 2013(16)
May 2013(12)
April 2013(9)
March 2013(11)
February 2013(12)
January 2013(13)
December 2012(16)
November 2012(22)
October 2012(21)
September 2012(20)
August 2012(25)
July 2012(31)
June 2012(31)
May 2012(31)
April 2012(30)
March 2012(31)
February 2012(29)
January 2012(30)
December 2011(31)
November 2011(30)
October 2011(30)
September 2011(30)
August 2011(3)

Blog Tags

Australian-Life (66)
AWRA (30)
Career-resources (196)
Construction (123)
Diversity (51)
Energy (169)
Job-seekers (452)
Mining (457)
Oil-and-gas (325)
Recruitment (65)
Training-and-Development (121)

What’s it like working on an oil rig? Part 1

Posted: 15/11/2011 5:00:00 AM by Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Oil-and-gas, Job-seekers

Want to know what it’s really like working on an oil rig? So did we. So we’ve asked Andy – who’s been working on a rig off Australia’s north coast for five years. He tells us what it’s like, how he got into it, why he does it and how he copes with spending so much time at sea. Some of his answers might surprise you.

In 2007, a book called “Don’t Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I’m a Piano Player in a Whorehouse” was released. Written by Paul Carter, it contains hilarious tales as diverse as getting shot at, hijacked, being held hostage, almost dying of dysentery and losing “a lot of money backing a scorpion against a mouse in a fight to the death”.

It seems a fairly uncommon view of life on the rigs although Andy – an Aussie who’s worked on the rigs north of Australia for five years – reckons it contains “a bit of an overview”.

The truth about living on an oil rig

We decided to ask him what it is really like living on an oil rig.

Getting started

First we asked him how he got into it – and why.

“I have a trade certificate as an aircraft maintenance engineer and my initial plan going into the resources industry seems to be fairly common,” he said.

“I wanted to initially work offshore for 2 years and save some cash then get out, but as my life changed to suit the lifestyle of living offshore my reliance on earning good money has gone up and every time I have considered leaving a promotion has usually appeared enticing me to stay longer. To summarise, I am almost completing the fifth year of a two-year plan with my goal amount of time being (you probably guessed) another two years.”

Why work on an oil rig?

Andy looked to a career in the rigs after a relationship break-up – he just wanted to get away for a bit. However most people, he said, appear to get a job working offshore through the “FBI” – friends, brothers, in-laws.

“When initially joining my primary focus was fairly simple and not very honourable or romantic – money, lots of money,” Andy said. “I wanted $100,000 a year to save up and buy my own place.

“But like so many things the concepts have changed and I have started to appreciate some of the other things associated with working away – my rotation working offshore is simply awesome.

“I have three weeks on and three weeks off, which means I get six months off every year (most offshore rotations are equal time or better – lots of rigs do 3/3, others do 4/ 4 weeks, boats are often 5/5 weeks and then there is a thing called the Norwegian cycle, used on FPSOs (floating production storage offloading) which is three on, three off, three on, six off).

So if you like hard work, have a pre-existing trades qualification, want to earn big money and take lots of holidays, working on the rigs sounds like some kind of utopia. But, what about all the shooting and hijacking and being held hostage mentioned in the book, you ask? Well things might not really get that bad, but there are certainly some disadvantages you should consider before seeking a job on the rigs. We’ll discuss issues – and how he copes with them – in tomorrow’s blog.

Advice from someone who knows

In the meantime, Andy has some pretty blunt advice for those looking for work on an oil rig.

“Job knowledge is paramount – if you are a numpty you will not last,” he said. (Which goes to show our recent blog post about having previous experience was great advice).

“There is great money to be made but the risks and costs are high,”
Andy said.

Read Part 2 of this story to find out some of the drawbacks to working on a rig.

For more on Australia’s oil and gas industry and the kinds of jobs available, check our Oil and Gas page in our Careers and Industry Guide.

Add your comment

Mining Jobs

Careers and Industry Guide

Mining & Metals
Oil, Gas & Energy
Alternative Energy
Living & Working in Australia
Career Resources
Training and Development

Contact Us

Mining Oil and Gas Jobs Blog RSS Feed Mining Oil and Gas Jobs on LinkedIn Mining Oil and Gas Jobs YouTube Mining Oil and Gas Jobs Twitter Mining Oil and Gas Jobs on Facebook

International Association of Employment Web Sites Member
alyka web design perth