What Employers are looking for

Until now, the focus of this chapter has been to provide a guideline on how to find a vacancy and apply for it. We will now examine what employers are looking for in their potential oil rig employee. This will help in your application and interview process as well as give you an insight into what such a job actually entails and whether you are suited for it.

Medical Fitness

Working on an oil rig is tough physical work and if you are not 100% medically fit, you will probably not get the job. You will need to produce a clean bill of health, which includes detailed physical examination and a spinal X-ray. You will also have to pass a drug test.


The average age of most drill workers is 27 but you can start as young as 16 and work until retirement. The minimum age for a drilling contractor is 18 but Coast Guard endorsements expect a minimum age of 16.


As already covered earlier, employers prefer staff with relevant industry experience and a couple of references from people within the industry. Not having experience doesn’t prevent you from getting a job but being dishonest about it can permanently hamper your career prospects. It is best to be open and honest about your profile and avoid ‘jazzing’ up your skills; the truth will emerge sooner or later.

Teamwork and Reliability

Drill workers are team workers and most employers require their applicants to have a strong sense of team responsibility. In addition, dependability is a second essential feature. Failing to show up for a crew change or missing your slot at the heliport is the easiest way to get fired so these characteristics will be closely examined during your interview.

Interest and Ambition in the Offshore Way of Life

The offshore lifestyle is unique and different from more conventional roles. It means that for weeks at a stretch you will not be with your family and have to spend your days on a cramped ship or platform with a bunch of strangers. The space in your living quarters is limited and the food is certainly not a culinary delight. The shift is 12 to 18 hours long and requires manual effort and labor. Most people get into the industry knowing full well what it entails and loving its unique way of life. Employers are keen to assess a candidate’s understanding and appreciation of its challenges.