Oil Rig Job Training and Certification

Oil rig workers are in high demand all over the world. Even in a down economy, the oil industry continues to prosper with jobs available in nearly every part of the globe. Oil workers are employed onshore and offshore in Texas, Alaska, Canada, the Middle East, the North Sea, Southeast Asia, the African Coast, and anywhere else oil is found. Major drilling, production, and exploration corporations are always recruiting energetic workers who are ready for a demanding yet exciting career.

To work on an oil rig, you’ll need a high school diploma and specialized training. Oil rig training consists of both field and classroom instruction to familiarize you with oil rig equipment and teach you the specific skills you’ll use as an entry-level worker. Whether you plan to work on land or offshore, you’ll begin your career as a roughneck (floor hand) or rustabout (drilling operations worker) and move up in rank from there. Entry-level positions pay $50,000 to $75,000 per year, and salary increases as you’re promoted to driller or rig supervisor.

Specialized Training Courses

All oil rig workers must meet certain minimum standards to work on a rig. Entry-level oil rig jobs generally don’t require previous experience, but few companies will hire someone who hasn’t completed certain specialized training courses. Successful candidates have either pursued oil rig training on their own or possess transferable skills from another job. Many colleges and trade schools offer courses on various aspects of the oil industry and oil rig work. Specialized courses may include:

  1. Oil rig operations
  2. Hoisting and lifting operations
  3. HAZMAT materials training
  4. OHSA regulations
  5. Well control
  6. Hoisting and rigging safety
  7. Winching
  8. Laying pipe



Offshore oil rig workers are required to earn an Offshore Survival & Firefighting certificate. Electricians, welders, scaffolders, and other specialized workers need to hold a state-issued certificate or license to work on a rig.

Work Visa and Immunizations

The oil industry awards its workers the opportunity to work in some of the world’s most exotic locales. Depending on the region of work, you may need to complete a series of immunizations before being hired. Most companies will obtain a work visa for people working outside of their native country.

By getting the proper training, you’ll be employed in one of the biggest and most adventurous industries as soon as you graduate. Working on an oil rig is physically demanding and often dangerous, but oil industry workers are rewarded with great salaries, a clear career path, and the freedom to work anywhere in the world.