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How to highlight your experience when applying for offshore jobs

Offshore Jobs – How to Get Leverage Prior Experience to Get Hired For Entry Level Offshore Jobs

Author: Julian Gaston

In this article we discuss transferable experience that those seeking entry level offshore work can apply immediately into jump-starting a new offshore job and career. The biggest hurdle people face when applying for offshore employment is the fact that they haven’t worked offshore before. This is typically the first question asked in an interview. Thankfully, everyone currently employed offshore was once in this position, so by definition they, too, had to get over this temporary hurdle.

The solution for them is also the solution for you – to draw upon existing and previous experience that is transferable to an offshore environment.

If you are entry level, the most important thing is being willing to work at whatever is offered to you. This might not be pleasant – scraping rust, stacking materials, cleaning out tanks – but it will get your foot in the door, and you can move up after.

- Drilling and Rigging Crews -

For the drilling crew for roughnecks on up, previous land-based Oil rig experience is a huge plus. But note that to go directly from land-based experience to working an offshore rig will often involve a step down the ladder; motormen might come on as roughnecks, and roughnecks as roustabouts.

Offshore, there are two categories of roustabout positions – those who help the drilling crew, and those who perform general maintenance around the rig, such as paint and rust removal, and helping the rigging crews and cranes. Roustabouts can take two different career paths offshore – the first involves working the floor and moving up the drilling crew ladder; the second, towards becoming a crane operator, or even the rigging foreman or crane superintendent.

If you are inspired to working on the drilling crew, and don’t have previous oil rig experience, the next best thing is to have gone through a roughneck \ floorman training program; several are available in the US and Canada. Too, if you have your offshore safety training and certificates in hand when you interview, you are a lot more likely to get hired immediately, as often when their are openings, they need someone NOW, even without offshore experience, and if you have your other ducks in a row, chances are you will get hired.

- Kitchen and Housekeeping Crews -

Now, if you don’t have experience in a trade, and don’t want to clean out tanks or scrape rust to start, there is always a need for help in the Kitchen. You don’t have to be a chef to start out; prior experience as a line or short order cook is sufficient to land a second cook or night cook position. Prior baking experience will land you a night baker position, and even if you have washed dishes before, or worked as a prep cook, then galley hand positions are a breeze to land.

Housekeeping positions require little to no prior experience; experience as a janitor, maid, or even none at all are often sufficient. Steward positions are easy to get hired for with previous experience performing maintenance; janitorial workers, porters or concierges with any Hotel experience are a shoe-in.

So as you can see, being entry level or not having prior offshore experience is absolutely not an obstacle towards getting hired to work on an offshore oil rig. Take what you already know and can do, and leverage that experience into an entry level offshore job. Many have gone this road before you, and there is no reason why you cannot do the same. What are you waiting for?

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About the Author
Julian Gaston is a freelance writer, chef, webmaster, and adventurer, and an in-demand expert on the energy industry. For more information on the exciting world of Offshore Oil Rigworker Jobs, and how to break into the field, please visit today!