If you appreciate the technical side of power and energy but want a more unconventional career in the electrical industry, an oil rig or offshore electrician job could be for you.
What Oil Rig Electricians Do
As an oil rig electrician, you can be expected to perform maintenance on a drill or pump. These are typically located on a floating rig or an artificial island. Some facilities are even attached directly to the ocean floor.
An oil rig electrician is expected to have knowledge of power generation, motor controls, safety devices, and instrumentation. Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC ) knowledge is helpful when you're applying for a job.
An oil rig technician job can have an erratic schedule, but it’s an exciting life. You may have the chance to move to an exotic location or experience a different culture when you work as an offshore electrician.
Learning The Trade
You'll learn the ropes in a diploma or degree program at a trade school or community college. As you complete your coursework, you'll start to learn more about what it means to actually work near and in the sea. Some electricians even have to learn how to scuba dive in order to fix and install lines deep under water.
Pay special attention to automated and cooling systems when in electrical school, and try to tailor your studies as much as possible (either through independent reading or specific courses) toward the oil rig industry.
In addition to knowing the wiring and functions of your workplace, you will likely need to display good leadership qualities. You’ll have to be able to give direction as well as listen to employees and take direction from them and your superiors when necessary. A successful electrician can work alone or with a group effectively for maximum productivity.
While adventure is certainly one factor that draws people to this profession, the high wages also contribute to making this a somewhat competitive field. Glassdoor.com estimates some salaries as high at $178,000, for example. These jobs attract people who have that same thirst for something new and different from all over.
Your best bet in getting a great job would be to have a clear idea of where you want to be as soon as you start your training. This way you can find out exactly what will be expected of you in the position from the very beginning and prepare accordingly. If you continue to perfect your skills, then this field will likely be lucrative for you.
Feel Comfortable With The Future
While the focus on energy is to shift it away from oil, it's unlikely that oil will become invaluable any time soon. And if you decide that this career is only fun as a younger person, then you can translate your skills into something more traditional when you get older. The key is to be making plans at every stage in your life so you feel prepared for what's next.
Find an electrical trade school near you.