Pros and Cons of Working on an Oil Drilling Rig

There are many pros and cons to working on an oil rig. 


  • Good Pay

When you work on an oil drilling rig you’re paid extremely well. An entry level position can pay as much as $47,000-$80,000 per year. The technical jobs will pay as much as $83,000-$160,000 per year. Oil rig jobs are in high demand due to the pay scale you receive.

  • Extended Leave

You have a rotational work schedule. This rotation can be 7-28 days. For the amount of days you work, you also get equal number of days off. You may also only work a portion of the year when things are busy and then have the other portion of the year off. You’ll get your full pay in the months you work and you’ll be able to go on extended vacations once your yearly work is done.

  • Training and Education

You get training and education before you work. Oil companies will pay for your training before you go on the job for the entry-level positions. As you move up the ladder you may get further training and be able to take certificate programs. As you get more training and education your pay rate will go up significantly.

  • Health Insurance

Due to the nature of the work involved, you get full health insurance and are well looked after by the industry. Most plans cover dental, vision and personal injury.

  • Opportunities to Advance

When you work on an oil rig you have many opportunities to advance to higher paying jobs. You may work your way up to higher positions as well as managerial positions over time. If you have a willingness to learn, you’ll find advancement is easier. There’s always room for a better job and more pay on an oil rig for qualified people.

Working on oil rig


  • Long Hours

Working on an oil rig is a tough job and it’s not for everyone. You usually have to do a 12-hour shift seven days a week when you’re on your rotation schedule. You may be required to do overtime for certain projects or emergencies. Many workers will do 80 hours each week of work on an oil rig. The work can take a toll on you mentally and physically.

  • Away from Home

The long rotations mean that you’ll be away from your family for a long period of time if you’re on an offshore oil rig. If you’re needed at home all the time, then this would be a big challenge for you. To be successful on an oil rig, you have to get used to the extended time away from family.

  • Dangerous Work

People can be injured or killed on oil rigs due to the dangerous nature of the work. Training is provided to deal with the dangers, but there is still a higher risk than average.

  • Weather

You have to work in all weather conditions. You have to be able to brave the elements as you may work in the dead of winter or in the blazing sun of the summer. Oil rigs don’t stop because the weather is bad.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   Photo by  cclark395 

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