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Job profiles

Offshore drilling worker


Starting salary
£12,000 + per year

Drillers, assistant drillers and derrickmen are part of the team that works on
offshore facilities such as oil or gas rigs or drilling platforms. If you want a practical
job working in a team, this could be for you.
In this job you would need to be willing to live away from home. You would need to
be physically fit and have a good head for heights. You would also need to be able to
follow and give out instructions.
You don't need any specific qualifications to get into this job but you will need to be
over 18. A common route is to start on an Apprenticeship scheme. You might also
be eligible for re-training schemes if you have technical experience from related
industries or the armed forces.

Work activities
As a derrickman, you would work 20 to 25 metres above the rig floor on a platform
attached to the derrick (the mast that supports the drilling equipment). You would
work under the supervision of the driller and assistant driller, and your duties would

handling and stacking sections of the drill pipe
maintaining the derrick
operating the lifting and hoisting machinery to position the drill
controlling and maintaining mud pumps, and supervising mud pump operators.
As a driller, you would supervise the drilling team and control the rate of drilling.
Your work in this highly skilled role would include:

000 a year. You would work up to 12 hours a day on a 24-hour shift rota.     controlling operations on the drill floor overseeing assembly of the drilling tools. for example by passing on instructions and information from the driller to the rest of the drilling team. Facilities can include living accommodation. working in all types of weather conditions and at heights. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted. There are bans on alcohol and smoking.000. Figures are intended as a guideline only. . A common route into the industry is through an Apprenticeship scheme. The job can be physically demanding. canteens and recreation areas. Employers prefer Apprentices to have at least four GCSEs (A-C) including English.000 and £30. including a harness. depending on experience. followed by two or three weeks’ rest period on shore. Income Apprentices can earn between £12. You would need to wear protective clothing. or on a smaller mobile rig in a team of around 20 people. Derrickmen can earn between £25. As an assistant driller it would be your job to coordinate the activities on the drill floor. You could work on a fixed production platform with up to 100 workers. maths and another relevant subject such as science or design and technology.000 and £20. and connecting sections of the drill pipe operating and controlling the machinery that raises and lowers the drill keeping records of the drilling process making sure that the whole team follows health and safety rules.000 a year.000 to £50. Entry requirements You would normally get into this job after first working with the drilling crew as a roustabout and roughneck. Drillers and assistant drillers can earn £30. You will usually need at least two years’ experience and be aged 18 or over to apply for jobs. ear defenders and thermal boiler suit. Working hours and conditions You would typically live and work on a rig or platform for two or three weeks.

or basic offshore induction and emergency training (BOSIET). See the OPITO course search page for information about safety training and where to find courses.Transition Training Programme You can find more information about working in the offshore industry on the myOilandGasCareer website. Promotion from derrickman to assistant driller and then driller can take between two and four years.   Apprenticeships ECTIB – Apprenticeships If you have previous experience from another industry.  OPITO – courses When you start a job you will usually have some initial training onshore (often known as 'greenhand' training). you must pass an offshore survival and fire-fighting course. The Programme aims to build on your existing technical skills to match those needed in the oil and gas industries. See the OPITO website for more details.  OPITO . or from the armed forces. for example shipbuilding. which can include:       health and safety manual handling working with hazardous substances working at heights helicopter and helideck safety banksman slinging (using hoisting equipment).To find out more about Apprenticeships in the offshore oil and gas industry. This may be part of an Apprenticeship. also known as emergency response training. or it can be done separately as a short course. Some employers may provide BOSIET training.  myOilandGasCareer Training and development To work offshore. Skills. interests and qualities To be an offshore drilling worker you should have: . visit the Apprenticeships and Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). construction or engineering. You will take further short courses relevant to your particular job as your experience grows. you may be able to apply for a place on OPITO’s Transition Training Programme. such as working with cranes and rigging. but you can fund it yourself while you look for work offshore.

oilandgasuk.  Cogent – UK Footprint You could work for operating companies with their own exploration and production licences.        good practical skills the ability to live and work as a member of a team willingness to live and work away from home good leadership skills the ability to follow and give instructions awareness of health and safety physical fitness a good head for heights. More information Cogent Unit Opportunities Most of the UK offshore oil and gas industry is located off the east coast of Scotland and England. or for drilling and maintenance contracting companies.cogent-ssc. . Follow the link below for a map of the main locations of various parts of the energy industry in the UK (courtesy of Cogent) Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) Blue Court Church Lane Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8JP Tel: 01923 260000 www. Mandarin Court Centre Park Warrington Cheshire WA1 1GG Tel: 01925 515200 Oil & Gas UK www. With www. you could be promoted from driller to toolpusher or rig manager. with other fields in the Irish Sea and west of the Shetland Islands. There are also opportunities elsewhere around the myOilandGasCareer.ecitb.

You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading:     OilCareers Oil and Gas Job Search Offshore Technology Cleddau Oil Rig jobs .