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. Major drilling, production, and exploration corporations are always recruiting energetic workers who are ready for a demanding yet exciting career on an oil rig.

To work on an oil rig, you'll need a high school diploma and specialized training. Training consists of both field and classroom instruction to familiarize you with oil rig equipment and teach you specific skills. Whether you plan to work onshore or offshore, you'll begin your career as a roustabout (drilling operations worker). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for entry level positions ranges from approximately $34,000 to $60,000 per year, and salary increases as you're promoted to driller or rig supervisor.

Oil Rig Training Salary Certifications

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:

  • Oil Rig Operations
  • Hoisting and Lifting Operations
  • HAZMAT Materials Training
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Well Control
  • Hoisting and Rigging Safety
  • Winching
  • Laying Pipe


Offshore oil rig workers are required to earn a BOSIET certificate (Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training. This ensures that the worker demonstrates an understanding of offshore regulations, safety precautions including firefighting and first-aid skills. Included is a familiarity with TEMPSC, a specialized lifeboat for sea vessels and oil platforms. 

Oil Rig Certifications

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. Working on an oil rig is physically demanding and often dangerous.

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