Electrician In The Oil And Gas Industry
Working in the oil and gas industry can be very interesting and highly lucrative, especially when working offshore on an oil rig. On these pages we will introduce you to the qualifications and courses needed. We will also advice you how to get in to the industry and how to find your first job offshore.
As a rig electrician, you can expect to earn three to four times more than the average salary of a regular electrician. Some or all of this money can be tax free as well (depending on circumstances).
There are oil and gas jobs onshore as well, which still tend to pay more than regular electrical jobs do (say in the domestic market) but they are nowhere near to offshore pay. However, an onshore oil and gas job could be a good start in gaining much needed electrical experience within the industry.
It is important to highlight that while there are jobs in onshore installations, such as gas turbines or oil refineries, the vast majority of oil and gas jobs for electricians are located offshore. Therefore let's focus on offshore jobs.
Electrical jobs offshore
There are several positions offshore for which you can apply as an electrician:
- Rig Electrician
- Electrical Technician
- Maintenance Technician
- Workshop Technician
- Chief Electrician (supervisor).
All these roles are very similar, details depending on company requirements. With the exception of the workshop technician, the work is mostly maintenance based on existing oil platforms. Workshop technicians tend to focus on panel wiring for maintenance requirements.
Because oil platforms are usually being build onshore and then shipped out, there are not many installation electricians' positions available offshore. Offshore commissioning is usually done by the same company which has built the platform, so that the way of getting a job offshore would be to find work with them.
Now lets have a look at the qualifications needed.