Finding An Offshore Job

A job offshore typically involves working on an oil platform that extracts natural resources from beneath the ocean floor. These structures are essentially self-contained mini-cities. They offer a wide range of jobs from highly skilled engineering and supervising positions, to manual labor jobs with colorful names such as roustabout and roughneck. There are also many support positions that involve cooking, janitorial work or transporting crew members. For those willing to make the commitment to working away from home for extended periods, finding one of these jobs is mostly a matter of having the right attitude and knowing where to look.

  1. Research the offshore industry to better understand the job opportunities and the unique demands involved. For example, working offshore often means one day off for each day worked. A “14/14” schedule offers two weeks off after spending two weeks on the rig. The work, however, can be highly demanding and dangerous at times. There are also numerous positions available for all skill levels but many have specific requirements such as obtaining a Transportation Worker Identification Credential or a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariners Document.
  2. Gain a basic understanding of oil drilling operations and other practical experience that will enhance your qualifications for an offshore job. Working in a petrochemical oil field or at a refinery, for example, will be a significant advantage when seeking work offshore. An understanding of seamanship and international maritime law is helpful. Good physical fitness and the ability to a climb a ladder are usually essential.
  3. Get a sense of the preferred method for applying and specific qualifications by looking for jobs with that include “offshore,” “oil rig” or “oil platform.” The application and screening process is usually far more extensive than traditional jobs, so this step will give you a better understanding of the prerequisites and qualifications required. 4.  Look for opportunities publicized within the offshore industry. Websites such as and offer comprehensive job listings and other information that will be useful in your job search. Likewise, companies involved in offshore drilling seek out employees to work on rigs. Houston, Texas-based Parker Drilling, for example, offers job opportunities in the gulf of Mexico and around the world. Eneroil Offshore Drilling, which is based New Delhi, India, has openings related to servicing oil rig companies in the international offshore oil and gas industry.
  4. Apply for openings using the specific criteria explained in job listing. Be prepared to relocate and undergo an extensive background check including a medical exam and drug test. During the interview process make it clear that you are emotionally and physically capable of working within the confines of on offshore rig. Understand that the job requires a much greater commitment than a 9-to-5 dry-land job. Make it clear to potential employers that you have your affairs in order and are ready to ship-out on short notice when offered a job working offshore.


  • Be prepared to get your belongings packed, and be ready to move on short notice if hired.
  • Make certain you have a valid passport and no obligations that will prevent you from relocating to an offshore rig.


  • Do not pursue an offshore job unless you are prepared to work in a confined space for a prolonged period of time.
  • In the event of an emergency, you may have to evacuate into open water.