How To Find A Job Offshore
Finding a job offshore can be extremely difficult or relatively easy - depending on who you know, since the offshore oil and gas industry is one of the few left that operates on the basis of recommendations and referrals. This does not mean that you can get offshore without the required qualifications and trainings. What it means is that you will need to have all the qualifications and all the training required, together with years of relevant experience AND the recommendation from somebody who is already working offshore.
You might be wandering why is that.
The reason is that it costs enormous amounts of money to get somebody offshore, only to find out that he is under-performing at work, or if he can’t handle the challenges of being on an oil rig “in the middle of the sea”, isolated from friends and family. The trips offshore are for the minimum of two weeks at a time and somebody might have (and many have had) panic attacks and other psychological issues due to these conditions.
This is why all companies invest time and effort in recruiting the most promising candidates for going offshore positions. Recruiting people with previous offshore experience is the easiest way for companies, but what about you as a candidate who has never worked offshore? You have never been offshore and you will never be because you have never been - it is a catch-22 situation for you, isn’t it?
This is why recommendations and referrals can help you a lot. If, let’s say a relative of yours is working offshore and he recommends you to his employer (by which he is putting his reputation sometimes even his job on the line) then there is a good chance for you to prove yourself a good candidate.
If you do not have anybody to recommend you, then you will find it extremely difficult to get out there, but there are some things you can do.
Find a job offshore:
- Apply for all the jobs you can find on the internet. Job portals such as Oilcareers.com, Rigzone.com and similar are a good start.
- Apply to oil and gas companies directly via their websites or by phoning them up and asking about upcoming projects and opportunities. Offshore drilling companies are usually a good bet.
- If you ever worked for the Army, Navy or RAF, make sure you always highlight that fact when talking to recruiters. Being in the armed forces is an indication that you can harsh working conditions.
- Try to find out about offshore networking events where you might make contacts in the industry.
- If you are really desperate, you could travel to Aberdeen or Norwich and look for the people who are on their way to or back from the rigs.
- Most importantly - don`t give up. Without knowing people in the industry it could take years before you get a chance to go offshore and you’ll have 5 years to keep trying before your training certificates run out.
Our strongest suggestion is that even if you are struggling to find a way of getting a job offshore, make sure you keep an open mind about other upcoming opportunities as well, so as not to limit yourself.
Try applying for entry level jobs, such as tool pushers or roustabout jobs. Remember, once you are in - you are in. As soon as you have a few months offshore experience behind you, you can start applying for electrician jobs. Not to mention all the people you will get to know. Starting as a roustabout can be a great way of learning about all the tasks involved in running and maintaining an offshore oil installation.
Being flexible with your profession is a great start, but you can also be flexible with your geographical location. Again, the North Sea is what everybody wants. You can try to get into the industry by applying for jobs elsewhere such the Far East, Africa or South America. These jobs usually pay better as well, due to the political risks involved. Do not worry, oil companies take good care of their employees, these jobs are still statistically among the safest on the planet.
In short, in order to achieve your goal you need to be flexible with your choices. It will all pay off in time.