What to Look for in an Offshore Job

The decision to look for an offshore job is an intensely personal choice, based upon numerous factors.  These considerations may be based upon the skill set of the individual, the economic needs of the family and the ability to endure long separations from those that you love.

There are a multitude of offshore jobs in the oil industry to choose from and anyone contemplating a career in this field needs to give some serious thought to what they need to look for in a potential employer. Because the decision will impact many components of your life, consider the following key points when deciding if an offshore job is a good fit for you.

Pay Rate

From a realistic and fiscally responsible perspective, the amount you will be paid for your offshore work needs to be a primary concern. Many of these jobs offer very lucrative salaries, especially when you factor in benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, 401K contribution, and vacation time


Your offshore job should provide you with at least a modicum of flexibility when it comes to time away from the job. While there is no doubt that you will be isolated on the rig for extended periods of times, you should look for a job wherein you are afforded downtime both on and off of the job site. For most people, this means the opportunity to go home for large chunks of time while their job remains secure.

Living Conditions

While your living conditions on the offshore oil drilling rig may be far from luxurious, you should expect to be provided with a comfortable and private space to spend your off-duty time. Ask potential employers for specifics regarding the living conditions, including whether you will be expect to share your space with other employees. You will also want to ask about access to medical care while on board the rig. There should be medically trained personnel right on the offshore ship in case of an urgent medical situation.

Communication Ability

While away on the offshore rig, you need to make certain that you have the capability to contact family and friends on land. With advances in new communication technology, this is becoming increasingly easy to do on many rigs. However, ask your potential employer about this potential as well as how often you will be able to contact home.

Safety Factors

A job at an offshore oil rig can be very dangerous. In fact, according to many reports it is one of the most dangerous jobs along with police officers, truck drivers, roofers and commercial fisherman. Each offshore oil rig is required to keep an up-to-date and accurate safety log that they should be willing to share will job applicants. During your interview process, ask specific questions regarding safety measures and safety history.

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English: Inspector on offshore oil drilling rig.
Image via Wikipedia

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