Oil Rig Jobs - Median Income
Overview of salaries on offshore oil rigs
Currently there are around 170,000 people working on offshore and land based oil rigs across the territory of the USA and Alaska at any given time.
High rate of risk and workplace conditions that are often dangerous, along with the direct exposure to harsh weather/climate provide the explanation as for the reasons why jobs on offshore oil rigs are paid so exceptionally well. At times they do pay exponentially better, twice and even three times more than salaries and wages workers earn in similar positions in the other indusries that are predominantly land based. That's also reason number one why oil rig jobs were ranked the second worst employment in the year 2012 by CareerCast.
Probably it was the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil rig disaster that like a cold shower refreshed the sense of risk and reminded people that human life itself might be at times the real price for unsupressable drive to earn big dollars within short span of time. Oil rig workers and employees work by shifts, and normally only half of the 365 days in a year. The rest is recreation time off the duty that can be spent with family and friends. If you return safely back to the continent.
This said, let's have a look at what oil drillers earn for what they do. Some of these figures are due to the Rigzone, while others come from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- $US 235,586 - the salary of a drilling consultant
- $US 139,868 - the salary of a reservoir engineer
- rig foreman makes $US 193,306
- rotary drill operators make $US 58,540
- mud engineer averages $US 108,032 a year
- subsea engineer makes $US 133,453
- roustabout, the lowest paid manual laborer - $US 34,680.
By the way, statistically, the latter is equal to the size of the average salary of a worker across American
To make the picture as complete as possible, in year 2011 the average salary for rig workers and other industry personnel was slightly over $US 99,000 a year, while greenhorn personnel with less than 12 months experience (read 6 months) the average wage was almost $US 67,000.
Offshore oil platform population
There can be as many as 200 pesons hosted aboard oil drilling platform that drills for oil reserves in deep sea waters. These people can be roughly divided to thre categories:
- oil rig crew
- supervisory staff
- catering and auxilliary staff
Crew members, hired by the oil rig facility contractor form the core of the entire team as well as the most essential portion of it. Several specialists, up to 15 persons in different positions, are hired to supervise the way contractor works and make sure all legal procedures are observed and drilling is performed in compliance with the local legislature, following the terms of contract, and according to the provisions of the maritime law. The rest is catering staff like camp boss, people in the kitchen and the laundry, stewards etc. and specialized auxiliary staff that arrived on short time mission to carry out specialized tasks, for example scuba divers or underwater welders.
Oil rig positions responsible for oil extraction on offshore oil drilling installations are: service unit operators, rotary drill operators, and derrick operators. These positions require not only experience, but also education and on site training. Median annual salary for them ranges between $US 47,000 to $US 64,000. The drilling process on the offshore oil rig is being supervised by oil extraction foreman, otherwise referred to as toolpusher.
ToolpusherToolpoosher (also called a drilling foreman, rig manager, rig superintendent, or rig supervisor) is a highly skilled employee or a drilling contractor, who is in overall charge of the drilling deck crew and of oil drilling rig. Tool pushers usually start at an entry-level position like roustabout or roughneck and then slowly gets advanced within the same company mastering the skills at every rung during prolonged spans of time. Toolpusher's salary stay around 80K a year. This position on oil rigs requires practical experience in nearly every manual job and thourough understanding of the mechanism of drilling operations, though no college or university degree is required. If with diploma, can be advanced further to the positions of the general supervisor or even CEO.
Other jobs on oil rigs
The other positions on oil rigs are: petroleum engineer, wellhead pumper, safety coordinator, radio operator, electronic technician, crane operator, welder, underwater welder, scaffolder, painter, IT specialist, gally hand and many more, both skilled and unskilled, with or without formal education other than high school.
The oil & gas industry is capable to open a whole new world of opportunity for everyone, and there's still room for more careers for more manual labor workers as well as for college or university educated professionals - if not at sea, then on land based oilfields and oilsands. For example, new seasoned jobs in logistics are available for truck drivers with their own truck. Since some time ago they have started to be contracted for delivering supplies and expendables to the rig. The pay is really generous, as for truck driver. It starts at $US 20 per hour and may include bonuses and double pay for extra hour.