Galley Hand Position
How to become a galley hand on offshore oil rigs
Besides the most popular entry level offshore rig job of a roustabout, there are plenty of other opportunities to get your very first contract on offshore oil rigs. One of such entry level opportunities that doesn't require prior experience of working on the offshore drilling installations or drillships must be through applying for position of a galley hand (kitchen helper).
Though job of galley hand on offshore rig is one of the simplest, safest (you work indoors), and require neither previous experience, education, training not to say about high-tech skills, it's still the position a lot of people compete for. Therefore it is still hard to get recruited, especially if you state in your resumé you've never had so far an opportunity to work on oil rigs.
The kind of responsibilities for any offshore oil job differs, depending on the position successful candidate is chosen to be hired for. But regardless of the low end vacancy to be filled, galley hand there included, if chosen, you are supposed to be ready to:
- work by shifts and far away off shore, where oil exploration platforms are normally positioned
- stay away from family and friends, and to work under harsh weather conditions
- carry out both physically demanding and stressful jobs and missions
- stay within a limited space and communicate with limited number of other individuals, which requires being psychologically stable
- be able to work as a part of team, team spirit is very important
- demonstrate ability to follow directions, obey commands, and react quickly and adequately to some of the stressful and abruptly changing situations - therefore it is important that candidate be able to learn the things as you go
- adhere to the safety rules on offshore drilling rigs, whether it is in the kitchen or on the drilling deck
Though the position of a galley hand is often advertised as job requiring no prior experience on rigs, pursuing applicable training before you actually start your oil rig job search process can be both useful and very beneficial from the perspective of increasing opportunity to get that entry level position of a galley hand. Bringing along transferable skills is always being appreciated. Here's a good piece of advice: don't choose to start limiting yourself to just an employment opportunity of kitchen helper: once you're on oil drilling platform, the opportunities to get transferred to other department or assigned a different role should be taken seriously.
There are short courses training galley cleaners (kitchen hands), if not for offshore oil rigs, then for cruise ships. The skills are absolutely transferrable, though. 30 day courses are available, for example, from Crew Skills Co in Malaysia and Singapore. If you are 21 years old and have a small prior experience of working as a dishwasher, a laundry hand, or a caterer in a hotel or hospitality business, then you already qualify. The other requirements for getting enrolled include basic English knowledge, good physical health, and no criminal background. The course is called Galley Cleaner program and it provides the students with all the necessary knowledge, professional competence and skills to do an offshore galley hand job professionally. The program covers subjects like Life At Sea, First Aid Basics, the basics of working in a Multi-cultural Environment, and the like aimed at better qualifying attendee for maritime career, which may extend to offshore oil rigs either.
Regardless of the place on the oil drilling installation designated as your workplace, whether on the deck or in the catering unit in capacity of offshore galley hand, it is imperative that every entry level oil rig greenhorn employee meets certain standards set for anyone setting their foot on the offshore oil rig. First and foremost, a rig worker needs to be both physically and mentally healthy individual. Still before the hiring decision is made, an applicant should pass medical examination and a series of check-ups like drug abuse screening and alcohol test. Alcoholics and drug addicts will be eliminated mercilessly.
If you plan to apply for a galley hand oil rig job in a specific country or geographical location, region or jurisdiction specific certifications may apply. For example, having an Offshore Survival Certificate won't fail make your resumé stand out in the eyes of a recruiting person, if you are applying for position on offshore oil rigs in the North Sea or off the Aberdeen coast, UK.
Again, good physical condition is important, therefore even if galley hand is an oil rig position actually outside the process of drilling for oil, the HR department will see closely the person they're hiring were strong, healthy, durable and able to learn the specifics quickly. Regardless of the country of their origin, galley hands, if hired, may be asked to travel to work on oil rigs in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Russia, Arctic, Nigeria, Angola, Australia - to just about any place where oil exploration or production takes place. Some of these locations may require visa. Starting with entry level galley hand jobs, a motivated person willing to work hard for the sake of achieving the goals set, can use their actual position as a starting point to be advanced to steward and then get moved up into an oil rig job in management. The goal of becoming camp boss doesn't sound unrealistic.
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