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Finding a job is not easy. Relevant experience or training can help. However, offshore companies do provide training for new entrants. Trainees may be required to complete training courses during their onshore leave. There may be opportunities for training as a Roustabout under an Employment Training Scheme. Enquire at any Jobcentre.

Roustabout - This is the basic unskilled manual labouring job on a drilling rig or platform. Work involves cleaning, scraping and painting equipment; offloading supplies from boats and moving them to storage areas; moving supplies from storage areas to points of use; mixing and conditioning drilling mud under the direction of a mud specialist. The requirements of a Roustabout are practical and demand someone who is capable of hard physical labour.

Roustabout job profile.


Roughneck - A promotion from Roustabout. Roughnecks carry out the manual work of the drilling operation under the direction of the Driller. Training is provided as the job requires a high degree of teamwork, although it still involves hard physical labour.


Derrickman - Works on a platform up in the derrick about 85 feet above the rig floor handling the sections of drill pipe under the Driller's direction. When not working in the derrick has special responsibility for the proper working of the rig pumps, the condition of the drilling mud systems and the supervision of the Roughnecks.


Driller / Assistant driller - The Driller controls the drilling equipment and directs the work of the drilling team. With the right abilities and temperament it could take 3 to 5 years to progress from Roughneck to Driller. The Assistant Driller does the same job but under supervision and acts as the Driller's relief, usually keeping written records of the drilling operation.

Driller worker job profile


Toolpusher - The toolpusher oversees the whole drilling operation and may be responsible for the whole drilling rig, making sure that everything runs smoothly and that the necessary materials and equipment are available. To reach this post it is probable that all the jobs mentioned previously have been held in succession and the individual has acquired a great deal of experience. Often the Toolpusher has an assistant who is a graduate trainee, gaining experience of the overall drilling activity.


Mud logger - Despite its humble name this is a vital job that is normally filled by a highly trained Geologist who must know what rock formations are being drilled through. The mud logger looks out for the presence of hydrocarbons in the rock cuttings that are brought to the surface by the returning drilling mud and separated on the shale shakers.

Mud logger job profile


Production operator - Production operations involve the management of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) from the reservoir to the initial customer. This in effect means producing, processing and delivering the correct quantity and quality of product and ensuring that all the production systems are operating in the most efficient way. The total production system can be divided into three distinct subsystems: subsurface (wells), surface handling (process facilities), and storage and sales terminal (terminal). Production operators are employed under supervision in various aspects of this work.


Maintenance personnel - In order to keep all the mechanical, electrical, instrument and telecommunications systems in good repair and running order, there are craftsmen and technicians who carry out the necessary maintenance work. Most of them will have learned their trade and obtained experience onshore.

Maintenance supervisor job profile


Divers - Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are increasingly being used for subsea inspection and maintenance work. Nevertheless, there are still regular requirements for divers who possess specialist skills such as mechanical fitting, welding etc., in addition to their diving skills.


Catering staff - There are opportunities for Stewards and Catering Personnel but they will normally be employed by a Catering Contractor.


Professional posts - Graduates from Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Geology, Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering courses are all of interest to offshore companies in exploration and production roles such as:


You can also view professional job profiles and find out about scholarships and financial assistance opportunities on our Energy Careers website.