How does an offshore oil rig worker spend a workday?

Written by christie leman
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How does an offshore oil rig worker spend a workday?
(Wikipedia, Public Domain)

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Positions, Hours, Salaries

There are many types of positions on an offshore oil rig, from the most basic helper positions up to engineers and training and safety coordinators. All offshore oil rig workers spend two or three weeks offshore working shifts of 12 hours on, 12 hours off, followed by two or three weeks onshore. Salaries range from around £22,750 a month for the lowest positions up to over £45,500 a month for positions requiring more education and experience.

Deck Crew

Deck-crew positions on an offshore oil rig include crane operators, roustabouts, painters, welders and barge engineers. Most of these offshore oil rig workers have very physically demanding jobs that are vital to the rig's performance.

Crane operators and their assistants spend their workdays managing cranes that bring equipment on board from supply boats and performing general maintenance on the offshore oil rig.

Roustabouts assist in drilling, loading and unloading of equipment, and general rig maintenance.

Barge engineers manage all the basic functions on the rig, like anchoring, stability, Coast Guard issues, and fire and safety protocol.

Drill Crew

Offshore oil rig drill crews primarily consist of drillers and roughnecks. An offshore oil rig driller has years of experience on rigs and many important responsibilities on and above the rig floor. He spends his workdays operating drilling equipment and applying his knowledge of drilling fluids, well-pressure systems and emergency protocol.

Offshore oil rig roughnecks spend their workdays in groups of three while operating heavy drilling equipment. A roughneck's workday is extremely physically demanding and strenuous.


Workdays are also long and hard for management on an offshore oil rig, including the rig coordinators, engineers and toolpushers.

Offshore oil rig managers or coordinators are responsible for the operations of the entire rig and all of its personnel. This rig worker spends his workday overseeing all of the functions of the offshore rig and interacting with engineers, drilling managers and toolpushers.

Engineers on offshore oil rigs are highly educated and spend their workdays using their extensive knowledge of the fluids used in drilling applications and the overall procedures of offshore drilling to aid in oil excavation.

Toolpushers spend their workdays supervising all the normal functions of the offshore rig. They deal with all levels of personnel, approve orders, create work schedules and serve as go-betweens for the oil company and rig drilling workers.

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