In 2008, there were 161,600 oil and gas extraction jobs in the United States. After the 2010 British Petroleum Oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, oil drilling in the U.S. declined as off-shore drilling regulations increased and permit approvals by the U.S. Department of Interior decreased. As of March 2011, the job outlook for U.S. oil rig positions has declined, but international demand for workers remains steady. Workers seeking an oil rig job may have to consider looking outside the U.S. for employment.
Before seeking a job on an oil rig, earn a minimum of a high school degree and obtain vocational or technical school training in mine technology, petroleum technology or engineering. Better yet, get an associate's degree in petroleum technology, which is highly desired within the industry due to the technological expertise and regulation compliance required to operate a rig.
Meet the age requirements. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to qualify for a job on an oil rig.
Get a physical examination. Oil exploration firms seek applicants who are in good physical condition. Physical strength is needed for a job that involves standing, lifting, climbing and stooping. Oil and gas sites operate all year long, regardless of weather conditions, and often are in areas where medical attention is limited. Employers may request a full physical examination and a drug test.
Be prepared to undergo a background check. The Maritime Transportation Security Act requires oil rig employees working in U.S. waters to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. The TWIC application process requires applicants to provide biographic and biometric information, such as fingerprints. Individuals seeking a TWIC must pass a U.S. Transportation Security Administration security threat assessment that includes criminal, biometric and biographical background checks.
Prepare a resume using a resume software program, an online resume template or a word template. Many companies use automatic resume systems that function best with a simple resume format. Avoid fancy fonts, bullet points and graphics. When creating a resume, highlight your work accomplishments, internships and awards. Employers are looking for any work or practical experience in petroleum technologies or the petroleum industry.
Search for Employers
Make a list of companies seeking oil rig workers. Send your resume to petroleum industry recruiters and apply online. Many national and international companies search for oil rig workers on the Internet. Most companies use industry websites or hire a recruiting firm to conduct employee searches. Some international companies prefer to work with recruiting firms only.
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