Offshore Employment Help



Your Guide To Jobs

in the Offshore

and Maritime Industries



Fifth Edition copyright 2002






Frequently asked questions about the offshore industries


Living the Offshore Life


Glossary of Oil Field Terms


Offshore Drilling Contractors and Rig Operators


Other Companies and Services:

Various marine contractors, construction, employment agencies, newspapers, internet employment resources, catering companies, schools and other offshore related companies


Sample cover letter                                   


A Typical “objective-style” resume’ / CV


Special Report: Jobs in the Industry of Oil and Gas Extraction

by The Bureau of Labor Statistics  (an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor.)

Nature of the Industry | Working Conditions | Employment | Occupations in the Industry | Training and Advancement | Earnings | Outlook | Sources of Additional Information


Overseas Employment Scams





            Have you ever felt the urge to find a really exciting occupation that pays well, offers adventure, as well as lots of time off ? Are you ready to say “goodbye” to the routine monotony that is involved with your present job? Are you ready to “get around” a little bit and seek some excitement? If your answer is “yes” then this report may be beneficial in helping you find what you’re looking for.


            Imagine for a moment working in an industry where you’ll have the opportunity to: Fly to your job in a helicopter!  Arrive at your job by an ocean-going boat!  Enjoy free meals !  Pay nothing for  housing and entertainment ! Make above average wages ! And above all....have 6 months of the year off to enjoy the things you love to do most?


Then perhaps  the offshore industries are for you!


            This report will guide you to employers and contractors who hire almost continuously people of all types of skills. They hire people with no skills or experience. There are many entry-level and apprenticeship programs for first-time job seekers listed in this booklet.


            The oilfield and offshore industries are always progressive and on the move utilizing the very latest and best technology and people to bring products from deep beneath the ocean floor to fuel our world.


            This report will not guarantee a job for you. You will have to provide the effort, time and “legwork” in order to make it happen for you. It is however a guidebook to point you the reader in the right direction and to establish a point from which to start. It will provide you with names and addresses of employers and contractors as well as their contact information...an overview of the offshore industry as a whole...a glossary of terms used in the industry...And a little bit of “inside information” that can be used to match your skills and talents to just the right company and occupation.


            You will need some additional tools in order to expedite your search. We highly recommend the internet as one of the most valuable job search tools in existence. If you don’t have this access, then we suggest a visit to your local library or one of the larger ones in a nearby city. They will be happy to assist you in getting “online” in order to research and contact the companies listed in this report.


You may know someone who will allow you to utilize their computer for this purpose. We also suggest having a resume’ prepared to be submitted once you have made contact with a company. Almost all of the listed companies have telephone numbers available. Their personnel or human resources departments may be contacted directly. Good hunting!




            Working aboard a drilling rig or an offshore boat is a unique experience for anyone seeking escape from the mundane jobs that abound these days. Unless one has a college education or well connected relatives there are few land based jobs that offer the pay, benefits, travel, adventure and time off that offshore work provides.



            By far, the vast majority of Oil Rig jobs are situated on and around the Gulf Coast of the United States. Other active areas include Canada, Alaska, South America and the inland areas of the US. Most major drilling contractors and service companies are represented all over the world. But the bulk of the offshore activity goes on in the Gulf area of the US though there is a significant amount of activity off the coast of California. “Hotbeds” of activity for the offshore industries are of course Houston, Tx; Lafayette, LA; Galveston,TX; Lake Charles, LA; Morgan City, LA; Cameron, LA; Vicksburg, MS; Mobile, AL and other seaport areas of the Gulf Coast.




            You can expect to be on your rig, boat or platform for extended lengths of time followed by equal (usually) time off. These are known as “hitches”. They vary from employer to employer. e.g. 7 days on and 7 days off; 14 days on / 14 days off…and so on, up to 5 weeks on/off depending on the employer and location of the project. Of course no employer whose rig is working for example in West Africa is going to bear the expense of flying their crews around the world every week! Generally speaking, rigs in the Gulf of Mexico work 14 / 14 hitched. Rigs in deeper water sometimes go for 21 / 21.


Foreign based rigs usually go for 28 / 28. Offshore boats and pipeline barges engaged in offshore construction have been  known to stay out until the project is finished which can be an indefinite period of time. Be prepared at any time (including the day you expect to leave for home) to be asked to “work over” if there is a special need or project to be finished. Sometimes your “relief” will not show up for crew change forcing you to remain on the rig until someone can be sent to replace you.


Most contractors are generous with overtime however if you are asked to stay. Be aware of this possibility and adjust your family life accordingly. While on the subject of family it would be wise to prepare your family, spouse or significant other for your being away for extended periods of time. Telephones and e-mail are usually available on rigs and boats but NEVER COUNT ON IT! Rigs in remote areas of the world or “under tow” have no communication for extended time periods.


            We advise setting up automatic payment arrangements with your financial institutions to take care of such important bills as mortgages, car payments etc. Most employers are aware that their employees are away from home for weeks at a time and encourage “direct deposit” payroll for this reason.


Now for the Burning Question............




You purchased this report for answers to questions!…understand however that we must address this issue in conservative generalizations and pay scales are mentioned on a “more-or-less” basis at the time of writing.


(Special Considerations)

            When figuring pay one must take into account that while working offshore with a “rotational schedule” one is only WORKING FOR SIX MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR! So whatever you gross for that year was actually earned in six months. You have six months of the year off! That being said, also consider that for six months out of the year YOU ARE NOT OPERATING YOU VEHICLE...NOT BUYING FOOD...NOT PAYING RENT...Even FREQUENT FLYER MILES for overseas work are yours to keep! Your living expenses are ZERO except for toiletries and personal products. Consider what this is worth to you when you figure the pay scale for the particular job you have chosen to pursue ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS: (roustabout, painter, galleyhand, deckhand, samplecatcher etc.


            As a rule of thumb as of this writing, there are few persons working aboard a rig or vessel on a regular schedule who make less than $1000.00 per week. Some make more....some less. WELDERS and CRAFTSMEN can expect to make roughly 10 to 20 percent above land jobs depending on demand.  Hourly paid workers are paid for 12 hours ON and 12 hours OFF. Overtime “kicks in” rather quickly.

            Foreign service pay starts at ten percent and goes up from there depending on the employer PLUS Frequent Flyer miles!

            Boat jobs generally pay a “day rate” for deck hands, cooks and galley hands.



            To be honest...If we were unskilled; out of work; just getting started and just WANT TO GET OUT THERE we recommend UNIVERSAL SERVICES or one of the other CATERING contractors listed herein. They are notorious for hiring “off the street”. They require little or no experience generally. Pay scales start around minimum wage but there are plenty of hours that add up quickly as well as the “built-in” benefits that go with offshore work. Other options include the TANK CLEANING, PAINTING and SAMPLE CATCHING jobs listed in this report.



            For “deckhands” aboard crewboats, workboats, tugs, towboats, anchor barges and pipeline barges we recommend first inquiring with the Maritime personnel agencies listed in this report. Secondly, search the listed newspapers. If you are local to the areas of any “port town” simply inquire at the dockside offices. Once hired, we recommend that you begin showing an interest in obtaining a USCG license to obtain advancement.



            First, be prepared for DRUG TESTING. With the hazards involved with men working around steel and machinery there is no room in the industry for the drug user / abuser. Secondly a thorough physical examination (usually at the employers expense) is performed. Some drilling contractors send Roustabout / Painter applicants to special testing centers who monitor applicants physical abilities prior to employment interviews.



            Yes. Everyone on a rig enters as a Roustabout or Painter (unless hired from the outside for a specific job) The oilfield is known for rapid and on the spot promotions to those who show initiative and work hard.  Rig Managers, O.I.M’s, Barge Engineer, Crane Operators and the like all usually start at the roustabout level and work their way up from there. 


The succession of promotion generally runs from ROUSTABOUT to ROUGHNECK to DERRICKMAN / SHAKERMAN to ASSISTANT DRILLER to DRILLER to TOURPUSHER and finally TOOLPUSHER / O.I.M. Most of the time the promotions come with instant pay raises.  Boat hands generally must obtain USGC training in order to advance to a “licensed” position, though ones “sea time” required for licenses are accumulated during ones tenure as a deckhand. Catering hands are also promoted from within from the entry-level onward to STEWARD / CAMPBOSS up to the FIELD SUPERVISOR level. WELDERS and CRAFTSMEN are often promoted to PUSHERS and on to PROJECT MANAGERS or SPECIALISTS.


By all means, no matter what position you are hired in at and no matter what company we highly recommend “networking”, that is getting to know people who are doing the job (and getting the pay) that you want and showing a willingness to learn what they do. Many galleyhands for example have gone on to respected positions such as MUD ENGINEER simply by showing an interest and learning the job (as well as going to school)Many companies offer free paid education to promising potential candidates.



            Simply put, when a well is drilled offshore for oil or gas a PLATFORM is constructed or moved from another location over the well in order to process the product and send it through a pipeline to a gathering area. Platforms are constructed onshore for the most part and floated or barged to the site. Much welding , plumbing and electrical work is required in these operations. Pipelines must be constructed to tie in these wells and platforms to the mainstream. There are many large and small contractors who specialize in this construction and the maintenance and operation of these platforms in all parts of the world. Many WELDING, PLUMBING, PIPEFITTING, ELECTRICAL, ENGINEERING, CATERING and PAINTING jobs are usually available with these contractors.


Living the Offshore Life



Volumes could and have been written about life in the Oil Patch. Sea stories abound everywhere. Entire books could be required to tell all that is worth telling about the offshore life. It really all comes down to this. As with any occupation, there are pros and cons. You will probably either love this lifestyle or hate it right away. Let’s look at some of the pros first, and then the cons.




·        You will make great money, even at entry-level jobs.

·        You will do a lot of flying in helicopters…pretty nice, most people don’t have a clue.

·        You will only work for 6 months out of the year…more or less. It’s all structured that way.

·        Your vehicle will be idle while you are away…ask your insurance agent for a discount. Really.

·        You may have the opportunity to travel world-wide…and keep the flyer miles.

·        You’ll be fed, housed, entertained and sometimes clothed, free of charge.

·        The company benefits are second to none…they all vary though.

·        You can certainly save some of the great money you earn.




·        You’ll be away from your family, home and loved ones while you’re on the job.

·        Communication with home will be scarce at best (and costly).

·        You will be surrounded by water and steel, 24 x 7.

·        Showers, eating, television and sleeping is usually communal.

·        You will usually work 12 hours per day. Shifts may vary.

·        No drugs or alcohol is allowed.

·        There is no democracy…what the tool pusher or Captain says is law.

·        Your time away at work will drag…your time off will fly like the wind (or so it will seem).


Weigh these over in your mind before making your first move. Can your spouse or significant other handle you being away from home for 2-6 weeks at a time? Can you deal with it? Consider others in your decision. Try it for a while…give a year at least. You’ll meet people that have been in the business for decades, and would have it no other way.


If you decide that the offshore life is for you, here are some do’s and don’ts to remember:


·        Do report to the Toolpusher or Captain as soon as you board unless escorted elsewhere by the safety man or Mate.

·        Do show up with enough personal supplies to last longer than you expect to stay.

·        Don’t arrive on a rig without a hardhat, safety glasses, and steel-toed workboots.

·        Don’t participate in gossip aboard any vessel or rig. It will come back to haunt you.

·        Don’t ever speak ill of the Captain or Toolpusher to a coworker. The walls will have ears.

·        Do show incentive and willingness to work hard under adverse conditions. It will take you a long way.

·        Don’t wear your feelings on your shoulders…never take anything personally. Friendly kidding is common.

·        Do take safety seriously and consider it a favor if someone corrects you for a unsafe act.

·        Don’t whine.


Finally, where you go out for your first hitch, and the going seems rough, remember why you came there in the first place. To make good money and have lots of time off. Your hitch is what you make of it. Time passes at a constant rate and you’ll be home sooner than you think. Don’t let depression or homesickness ruin a chance at a great lifestyle…Enjoy your time off, you earned it!





If you’re the adventuresome sort and live in the United States, an alternative way to go about being hired on a rig or vessel is to “walk the docks”. A trip to the docks may be worth your while if  you live in the areas of:


·        Mobile, Alabama

·        Pascagoula, Mississippi (notice the “now hiring” billboards belonging to the shipyards!)

·        Biloxi, Mississippi

·        New Orleans, Louisiana (a lot of maritime activity and fun too!)

·        Venice, Louisiana

·        Morgan City, Louisiana (an old offshore town. Lots of jobs)

·        Port Fourchon, Louisiana

·        Intracoastal City, Louisiana (similar to Sabine Pass, Texas) Recommended

·        Cameron, Louisiana (similar to Sabine Pass, Texas) Recommended

·        Sabine Pass, Texas (see below)

·        Galveston, Texas


just to name a few US Gulf Coast locations.


These port towns have many types of offshore facilities to explore, check out and enquire at. Many different companies maintain their own docks. Some even lease space to rigs and other vessels for repair and fabrication. Many are at the “end of the road” in remote coastal areas, so go armed with a good map. You’ll see lots of helicopters flying about also. Contractors of all kinds work there on the rigs and vessels.


Shipyards are another hotbed of on-site hiring.  Of course, if you are interested in offshore boats, diving, welding, plumbing, pipe fitting, and any skilled crafts, contractors are working in these areas constantly.


Don’t forget to take along your driver’s license, social security card,  emergency contact information, as well as licenses, certifications, or other professional papers. Take your passport if you have one. You may just need it. Above all, don’t forget your hardhat, safety glasses and steel-toed boots. You won’t be admitted to any facility without them.


(The author cannot make any guarantees of employment and cannot be held liable for any consequences arising from any person seeking a job in this manner.)




RIG                  any offshore (or land based) drilling unit including SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE, JACKUP,  BARGE-BASED or PLATFORM BASED.


BOAT JOB        Tugboat, workboat, crewboat, pipeline barge, anchor barge or other vessel-based                          employment.

GALLEY           Kitchen / dining room aboard a rig or vessel.

BR HAND          Housekeeping position inside the living quarters of a rig or vessel.

TOOLPUSHER  sometimes referred to as OIM (offshore installation manager) THE BOSSMAN of a rig.

TOUR               Your work shift

TOURPUSHER  In charge of all outside operation during his tour (usually 12 hours)

HITCH              Your time aboard a rig or vessel.

ROUSTABOUT  General laborer aboard a rig.

ROUGHNECK    Works on the drilling floor of the rig, directed by the driller.

DRILLER          Operates the drilling machinery on the drilling floor.

MUD                 Drilling fluid circulated down the well being drilled.

BARGE ENGINEER / BARGE CAPTAIN  in charge of operations involving rig stability and                                          maintenance

SHAKER           Mechanically separates solids from mud.

COMPANY MAN  Overseas drilling operations for the oil / gas company

HAND               anyone working on a rig or vessel.

JEETCHET        “Did you eat yet”

MAKIN’ HOLE   Drilling

GUMBO ATTACK  Gumbo clay returning up to the top of the well.

BLOWOUT       Uncontrolled pressure from the well.

GROCERY BOX   Large container brought to offshore rig by boat containing groceries / supplies.

FISHERMAN       Specialist who retrieves stuck oil tools from downhole.

DOWNHOLE     Beneath the surface of the well.

ANCHOR BOAT Configures anchors to stabilize semisubmergible rigs or “floaters”

PLATFORM      Stationary offshore gas/oil production facility

PIPELINE BARGE    Vessel constructing offshore pipelines

OIL TOOLS      Any drilling bit or other special tool to drill or configure a well.

BREAKIN’ OUT  A new hand on  a rig doing a good job. “He’s breakin’ out”

SERVICE HAND  Anyone who arrives on a rig or vessel temporarily to perform a specific job.

SERVICE COMPANY  Well service companies associated with drilling or other operations

LOGGING         Gathering data from down hole.

SUMBITCH       “sonofabitch”

THE BEACH      Land..........anywhere! (home etc.)

THE YARD        Port or operations base for rig or vessel.

BARGE RIG      Operates in very shallow inland water.

JACKUP           A rig supported by legs.

FLOATER         another name for a  Semisubmersible rig.

OFFICE PUKE   One who works in the office of a drilling or boat company.

RIG PIG            Sometimes “Oilfield Trash” one who works on a rig or any oilfield job.

OILFIELD         Refers to anything related to Oil/Gas industry.

MOTORMAN     One who maintains the large diesel engines that power a rig.

WATERWELL   Pump which draws up seawater for use on rig or vessel.






Authors note: Although job descriptions and work schedules may vary from company to company, most offshore drillers operate in pretty much the same way. The majority are based in the Houston area, but  their drilling activities take place all over the U.S. and overseas. Most operate offshore and land rigs.



Marine Drilling Inc.            

Large offshore drilling contractor located near Houston. Domestic and International operations


NOTE: Marine Drilling recently merged with Pride International.


Has employment section on their website, look for “Careers”

 Pride International

 5847 San Felipe

 Suite 3300

 Houston, TX 77057

 Phone: (713) 789-1400

 Fax: (713)789-1430


From their website:



Pride International is an international drilling contractor providing its customers a broad range of rig and related services in over 20 countries. Our services are provided through our modern, worldwide fleet of almost 300 land rigs, barges, platforms, tender-assisted rigs, jackups, semisubmersibles and state-of-the-art deep water drillships. We employ around the world 5,900 of the best and the brightest individuals to achieve the success of our company.


If you are interested in traveling to exciting, exotic destinations and a rewarding

career, please review the types of employment opportunities that may be available

from time to time at Pride, we have organized such information by specific area within the company.


We hope your visit to the employment section of our web site has provided you with

the information you were seeking. If you desire more information, we encourage you to send a message to our recruiter in the Human Resource department.




Atwood Oceanics              

15835 Park Ten Place Dr.

Houston, TX 77084



website has employment information, look under “corporate resources”


Worldwide offshore drilling contractor and marine operator. Domestic and International


From their website:


Career Opportunities

Atwood Oceanics, Inc. is an international offshore drilling contractor and offers a variety of career opportunities.  Qualified individuals are encouraged to submit resumes for consideration.  Please visit theContact Information information to select a submission method.  Atwood Oceanics, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.






Transocean Sedco Forex

PO Box 2765

Houston, TX 77255-2765

Phone 713 232-7500


website has employment information, look for “career opportunities”


World’s largest drilling contractor per rig count; operates worldwide; into exploration; development and operates a towing fleet. Excellent company to work for. RECOMMENDED


From their website:


Houston and Regional Headquarters Staff


The U.S. subsidiary of Transocean Sedco Forex is located in Houston, Texas, USA.

There are seven regional offices throughout the world. Periodically there are positionsavailable in these headquarters offices.



Transocean Sedco Forex has from time to time multiple opportunities for engineers in the following categories: Experienced and Professional Engineers, Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students, Recently Graduated or Soon-to-be Graduated Engineers


Offshore Fleet


Transocean Sedco Forex has from time to time multiple opportunities for individuals with previous offshore experience, or those individuals who have related industrial, maritime, or military experience.






Rowan Companies                       

2800 Post Oak Blvd.

5450 Transco Tower

Houston, TX 77056



Operates rigs in GOM and worldwide; also owns ERA Helicopters and Letourneau Inc. Has an excellent “no-layoff” policy (rare); offers College-Roustabout summer job program and hires Roustabouts without experience. Also land rig fleet. RECOMMENDED






Diamond Offshore            

15415 Katy Freeway

Houston, TX 77094



website has employment information, look for “employment”

Large worldwide drilling contractor who is an excellent employer- RECOMMENDED


From their website:

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., one of the world's largest deepwater offshore drilling contractors, is headquartered in Houston, Texas at 15415 Katy Freeway near the intersection of Highway 6 and I-10 West. Our staff consists of approximately 500 shore-based support personnel and 3000 offshore rig personnel worldwide.


Our employees enjoy a comprehensive benefits package, which includes both educational assistance and a highly competitive salary. We also offer our own rig-based on-the-job training programs to assist our employees in preparing for promotional opportunities as they become available throughout our rig fleet. All offshore rig personnel work an even on and off schedule and receive a monthly travel allowance in addition to their regular salary.




Global Marine Drilling                   

777 N. Eldridge Rd.

Houston, Tx. 77079



website has employment information, look for “employment”


Very large drilling contractor and marine operator; many various subsidiaries; has its own catering services (rare).


From their website:

Thank you for your interest in employment with Global Marine. Global Marine is one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies. We operate our 33 offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and offshore West Africa and South America. Our fleet of rigs is one of the most modern in the industry and consists of jackups, semisubmersibles and drillships. Depending on type of rig, each of our rigs is crewed with between 90 and 150 employees. Depending on position, we hire skilled and unskilled, experienced and inexperienced drilling and marine employees to crew our rigs. Promotional opportunities are abundant.


In addition to rig-based opportunities, Global Marine has major offices in Houston, Texas, Lafayette, Louisiana, and Aberdeen, Scotland. Employees in these offices provide technical and administrative support for the rigs and also provide sophisticated drilling management services for oil and gas companies.


Global Marine offers excellent pay, a very comprehensive package of benefits and a professional and challenging work environment. We encourage you to review the Employment section of Global Marine's web site for more information.







Parker Drilling Company 

8 East Third Street

Tulsa, OK 74103



website has employment information, look under “operations” then “employment”


A land rig and offshore contractor. Domestic and overseas.


From their website:

Career Opportunities


Parker Drilling is an industry leader in opening new markets and developing new technology. At Parker you will have the chance to work with some of the most skilled people in the energy industry. It's because of these problem-solving, dedicated

innovators that Parker enjoys such a solid reputation.


We offer employment opportunities in Houston, Texas; New Iberia, Louisiana; and many more locations throughout the world. Parker offers great benefits, including a 401(k) plan with an employer match, and health and life insurance. If you are interested in employment with Parker Drilling, please e-mail your resume to humanresources@parkerdrilling.com





Ocean Energy                                

1202 Louisiana St. Ste. 1400

Houston, TX 77002



website has employment information, look under “employment”

Offshore drilling rig; boat operator and other offshore services)


From their website:

On October 19, Ocean Energy received the third place award in the Houston Business Journal's "Best Place to Work" competition for companies with 251-500 employees in Houston. Results were based on a benefits questionnaire completed by employers and a survey of employees to rate their work environment.


More than strategy and assets, the distinguishing success factor for an exploration and production company is the talents of its people. At Ocean Energy, we are committed to building an environment in which talented people can apply their knowledge and skills in ways that lead to company success and professional growth. We are a team of people with a worthy mission: to find and develop oil and gas resources to meet the world's growing demand for energy.










Nabors Industries             

515 W. Greens Rd.

Houston, Tx. 77067



website has employment information, look under “career opportunities”

Worldwide drilling contractor also operates SUNDOWNER offshore and a CATERING subsidiary


From their website:

It is our policy to recruit the best applicants. Qualified applicants are considered for employment, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, veteran's status, or handicap.


Feel free to search our employment database to see if there is an opportunity that you are interested in. If you do not see a position which interests you but you would like to submit your resume please complete the online resume.







Noble Corporation            

10370 Richmond Ave. Ste. 400

Houston, Tx. 77042




web site has employment information, look for “employment


A “heavy hitter” in worldwide offshore drilling; an excellent employer so we hear


From their website:


"While our quality drilling assets are an integral part of our business, Noble Drilling's focus continues to be on our employees. Our talented and experienced personnel make it possible to continually achieve new levels of success, such as the EVA-4000™ semisubmersible conversions. Noble's commitment to employees is set forth in a "Legacy for Management", an excerpt from the will of Lloyd Noble, founder of the company in 1921, which is found in every Noble Drilling office worldwide."






Chiles Offshore Inc.                      


website has employment information, look for “employment”

A large drilling contractor with significant GOM presence


from their website:

To explore employment opportunities with our company, please send your resume and salary history to the following address:


     Chiles Offshore Inc.

     Human Resources Dept.

     11200 Richmond Av., Suite 490

     Houston, Texas 77082 USA

     Fax 1/832-486-3540


All materials will be kept in strictest confidence. Chiles Offshore Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. You can also write a brief statement about your skills and requirements and submit it to our personnel file using the form at the bottom of this page. When a position opens up, we'll look for potential matches in this file before we begin a wider search.






Horizon Offshore              


website has employment information, look for “job opportunities”


A worldwide offshore drilling contractor


From their website:

Successful applicants will work for one of the fastest growing offshore pipeline            construction and platform installation & abandonment companies in the world.                   Opportunities exist in domestic and international operations. Horizon Offshore offers excellent salary and benefit opportunities. If you meet the above requirements, please send resume and salary requirements to one of the following:


Horizon Offshore


2500 City West Blvd.

Suite 2200

Houston, Tx. 77042

Fax: (713) 361-2669

Attn: HR Department

Other Companies and Services:

Various marine contractors, construction, employment agencies, newspapers, internet employment resources, catering companies, schools and other offshore related companies



Coast-to-Coast Marine Employment Services                      

2628-B Executive Pl.

Box 4414

Biloxi, MS 39535



website has employment information, look for “employment opportunities”


JOBS: cooks, galleyhands, deckhands, welders, seamen, painters, mechanics, electricians,  machinists, students, general laborers, fabricators, pipefitters, tank cleaners etc.


from their website:

Coast to Coast Services, a full-service marine employment agency, is backed by over 97 years combined experience in all phases of the marine industry. We provide one-on-one, professional service to marine personnel, from entry-level through U. S. Coast Guard Licensed. Job listings include:


Deep Sea, Crew Boats, Supply Boats, Tow Boats, Offshore Tugs, etc.

International & Domestic


Oilfield & Non-Oilfield

Inland Rivers & Offshore







Maritime Employment Services Inc.     

74 So. Lucile St. Seattle, WA 98134



website has employment information, look for “employment opportunities”

A good source of boat and maritime jobs on the Pacific coast

Jobs: cooks, galleyhands,deckhands, welders, seamen, painters, mechanics, electricians, machinists, students, general laborers, fabricators, pipefitters, tank cleaners etc.


From their website:

We appreciate the opportunity to assist Job Applicants in their job search, or assisting Employers find that perfect individual to fit into their organization.  Since our company was formed in 1989, we have placed thousands of mariners in maritime jobs all across America's waterways and shorelines on various vessels (anchor hauling, bulk break, cargo, casino, container, cruise, deep draft, dredge barge, inter graded tug/barge, supply, tanker, towing, etc.), smaller boats (fishing, freighters, passenger, tugs, etc.), and seafood processing shore plants.  We have also recruited non sailors for positions related to marine goods and services.


Our goal is to provide qualified, pre-screened applicants to fill the needs of the maritime industry.  We accomplish this by matching the career goals and backgrounds of our applicants to companies' job requirements.




Seaboard Environmental Services

110 Travis Street Ste. 105

Lafayette, LA 70503


Tank and vessel hold cleaning/decontamination service; dirty work but usually pays well; usually no experience needed (JOBS: general laborers)




The Nacher Corp.  

P.O. Box 609

Youngsville, LA. 70592 (near Lafayette, LA)


RECOMMENDED! Tank and vessel cleaning/decontamination, very reputable company, crews live aboard rigs, usually no experience; pays well

(JOBS: general laborers)



Haliburton Energy Services       

Drawer 1431

Duncan, OK 73536



website has employment information, look under “careers”

RECOMMENDED (same business as Nacher and Seaboard; worldwide Fortune 500 company with many diverse operations. See also Haliburton Services

(JOBS: general laborers, drivers, geologists)


From their website:

Our philosophy is to give people responsibility quickly. We make our employees responsible for their own success; your hard work and determination sets your course. At Halliburton, we believe the path to survival and success in the 21st century is through skilled and creative employees who can tackle challenging projects with innovation and high quality services. We're looking for others to join our team of dedicated professionals. If you want a career where hard work is rewarded and innovation is prized, consider a career with Halliburton.



The Industrial Company  

411 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. Ste. 360

Houston, TX 77060



website has employment information, look under “careers/job opportunities”


Platform, pipeline, refinery and other type offshore construction worldwide contracting. (JOBS: welders, painters, drivers, laborers and crafts etc.)


From their website:

If you are action oriented and interested in growth opportunities with a progressive management owned company, we encourage you to join our team. TIC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, minorities, veterans and the disabled to apply for the job openings listed under the links in the following menu.


Retention and Benefits

TIC's most important asset is our people. We could not have achieved our dramatic growth without a strong following of qualified personnel who are well trained and understand our requirements for safety, quality and productivity. Therefore, we continue to strive for a work environment that provides competitive benefits and continual opportunities for career advancement by promoting from within.





Emsco Electrics      

950 N. Broadway Street

Greenville, MS 38701


Marine, shipping and rig heating/AC and electrical contractor)







Chet Morrison Contractors        

State Hwy. 15

Houma, LA



(offshore platform construction service; same as Horizon above)



Halter Marine Group                     

Box 3029

Gulfport, MS. 39505


Large rig , plarform and ship building contractor; Hires all skills and crafts. Possibly unskilled and apprenticeshps. All skills and unexperienced




LeToureau Inc.                               

Vicksburg, MS

Longview, TX


website has employment information, look under “employment”


Large rig, earth moving equipment builder. Has an apprenticeship program for welders and jobs for all welding/ fabricating skills.


From their website:

Numerous employment opportunities are available at LeTourneau, Inc., a  leading manufacturer of heavy equipment for the marine, mining, intermodal and  forestry industries. A highly integrated company, LeTourneau also operates its  own specialty steel mill. The company is based in Longview, Texas (Gregg  County), a community of 75,000 people located 125 miles east of Dallas. The  largest manfacturer in the county, LeTourneau combines an excellent  workplace opportunity with the high quality of life available in East Texas.



Sable Offshore Energy                  

Box 517

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J2R7



website has employment information, look under “Opportunities”


Large Canadian offshore contractor and marine transportation


From their website:

Welcome to Sable Opportunities

SOEI seeks people, team players, who share in the company's belief of ongoing learning, the importance of safety and the acceptance of growth and change. We demand safe work practices, celebrate achievements, and stress personal responsibility and day-to-day accountability. It is our intent to create a meaningful work environment that values and respects all participants, and encourages diversity

and inclusion.





J. Ray McDermott Inc.                  


website has employment information, look for “employment opportunities”


Large subsea pipline contractor operates pipe laying barges and all types offshore construction. Boat and construction type jobs


From their website:

The McDermott companies invite you to invest in the many opportunities throughout our organization. We encourage you to explore the career opportunity websites of our operating companies listed below and contact us if you have any questions or would like to receive a careers brochure in the mail.


McDermott International, Inc.

Human Resources Dept.

P.O. Box 60035

New Orleans, LA 70160

Tel: 504-587-4411

Fax: 504-587-6153

Email: jobopps@mcdermott.com






Cal-Dive International                  


website has employment information, look for “employment”


International subsea construction and salvage operator; large boat fleet; diving ops.


From their website:

CDI offers very competitive rates and an excellent Benefit Package, including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance, 401(k) Plan, Cafeteria Plan and Supplemental Life Insurance.Insurance coverage goes into effect the first day of the month following 30 days of employment. CDI is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. CDI has a no tolerance drug policy.  Cal Dive is an approved training facility for the Veterans Administration through the Montogermy GI Bill which allows veterans to receive supplemental pay for up to 36 months. Contact Human Resources for details.


For More Information, Contact:
CDI, Human Resources
1550 Youngs Road
Morgan City, LA 70380
Phone: 504-330-0300
Fax: 504-330-3096
E-mail: Error! Bookmark not defined.





Catermar Group                 

7324 Southwest Freeway Ste. 1790

Houston, Tx 77074



web site has employment information, look for “jobs at Catermar”

Worldwide catering operator for a variety of industries requiring remote basecamp and food service support)




Universal Services

5749 Susitna Drive

Harahan, LA 70123                       


800-332-9382 fax

Worlds largest remote food caterer and basecamp contractor; always hiring without experience for rig work in GOM.) RECOMMENDED




Moreno and Associates / Moreno Energy Services 

210 Rue Beauregard

Lafayette, LA 70505



website has employment information, look for “employment opportunities”


Medical / safety support for rigs, platforms and construction. hires mainly paramedics and entry-level firewatchers / safety techs. Excellent company RECOMMENDED


From their website:

Candidates must be self-motivated and possess good comunication skills.                                   Computer skills & offshore experience a plus.


Send Resume to:

M & A Offshore Division

P.O. Box 53507

Lafayette, LA 70505

318-237-0440 Fax



Oya’s Directory of Recruiters - Marine


 A good directory of many offshore and marine job recruiters....worth a look






A good industry news and employment site. view jobs and post resume’s here.





(ditto above)



IADC (International Association of Drilling contractors)


Jjust about everybody in the industry is a member ;good website lists members home pages; excellent internet resource



Tidewater Inc.                                             

601 Poydras Street

New Orleans, LA 70130



website has employment information, look for “Job Opportunities”


Tidewater is a large company and a “big gorilla” in the offshore crewboat, workboat and towing industry; worldwide operations and other subsidiaries. good place to start for “deckhands”. RECOMMENDED


From their website:

Tidewater Marine owns and operates the world’s largest fleet serving the international offshore energy industry around the world. Search a complete listing of current job postings within the Tidewater world wide fleet.




Houston Marine Training Services       

5728 Jefferson Hwy.

New Orleans, LA 70123



This is a great company for getting training for US Coast Guard tickets for those looking at maritime or responsible rig positions / careers. They offer in-house and ONLINE USCG training) Don’t miss the website! RECOMMENDED




Legend Marine Personnel Services      no website found

9894 Bissonette #860

Houston, TX 77045


(frequently runs ads for COOKS and deckhands in the Houston Chronicle.)



Halliburton Services                     

3600 Lincoln Plaza

500 N. Akard St.

Dallas, TX 75201



website has employment information, look under “careers”


One of several large “well completion and service” companies operating worldwide; many subsidiaries and sister companies including construction giant “Brown & Root”. Former CEO was US Vice President Dick Cheney; usually offering entry -level positions such as truck drivers, sample catchers etc.






BJ Services Inc.                 

Box 4442

Houston, TX 77210



website has employment information, look for “Careers”


Another large worldwide offshore well service company; competitor with Haliburton drivers; mechanics; crane operators; technicians.


From their website:

BJ Services is a recognized world wide leading provider of services to the petroleum industry. With locations in over 50 countries BJ offers the opportunity to see the world.  And with BJ's diverse range of services we offer a wide variety of opportunities for aggressive individuals seeking a rewarding and challenging career.

The key to BJ's success and longevity is largely due to the growth and success of its employees.  And if you want training, BJ Services offers hundreds of local, regional and corporate formal training courses ranging from how  to operate a 3000 hydraulic horsepower pump to using advanced 3-dimensional models to determine fracture  geometry.  BJ Services also offers Career advancement programs to insure every employee has an opportunity to advance at the pace they desire.








These papers should be available either online or at your local library or large bookstore. They all regularly offer oilfield, maritime, industrial jobs of all types as they are located in the heart of the industries.


The Houston Chronicle    (classified sections)



The Advocate (Lafayette,LA)



New Orleans Times-Picayune        



The American Press - Lake Charles,LA





SAMPLE COVER LETTER                                   


                                                            JOHN Q. SMITH

                                                                        12115 San Pedro Blvd.

                                                                        Anycity , USA 34432



19 July 2001


Attn: A.J.Hxxxxxxxxxxx

Company Name

PO BOX  1420

Houma, LA 70361                                               


NOTE: This is a sample COVER LETTER. If you send a letter similar to this along with a BIOGRAPHICAL PAGE and an OBJECTIVE PAGE to a potential employer YOU WILL GET RESULTS! Remember to keep things simple and uncluttered... Personnel Managers are very busy people and appreciate simple resume's. You will be sent an application form if the company is interested in hiring you. You will have the opportunity then complete all your personal details

and information there...(the following is fictitious)


 Sample as follows:


      This is to express an interest in filling a XXXXXXXXX position which may be available with OFSI

      I have been a NR certified XXXXXXXX for the past 16 years in the States of Florida, Nevada, and Texas . My experience has been as a Rig HSE Paramedic/Safety trainer; EMS staff; in supervision and in Clinical / Occupational  medicine.

      I have practiced "physician-independent duty" medicine for the U.S. Dept. of Energy at the Nevada Test Site / Area 51 facility in isolated locations for extended periods of time. I also hold a "Q" security clearance from the USDOE and was responsible for Industrial Medical Support for about 1500 workers at my places of assignment. Such duties included diagnosis of condition; prescribing and dispensing medications; suturing and removal: treating diverse types of industrial injuries; administering drug / alcohol screens and properly filing Occupational Injury forms. I am familiar with and comfortable with practicing medicine in isolated and Maritime environments and possess excellent diagnostic skills.  I am computer literate and am familiar with all types of communication equipment as well as all areas of Offshore HSE and ambulance service operations.

     If you feel that my credentials and experience are consistent with your requirements for this position please contact me at your convenience.


Respectfully Submitted,


Your Name Here





 xxx-xxx-xxxx voice/fax  *     Pager: xxx-xxx-xxxx   *  e-mail: xxxxxxxx@webtv.net


submit with your "BIO" PAGE


Your name here



OBJECTIVE                                     title of job you are seeking






Sate your past experiences which may qualify you for the job, if you have none state that you are new to the job market. Be honest if you have no experience   





Your past administrative responsibilities (if you have them, if not skip ) this section





 State any security clearances or experience,(if you have them, if not skip  this section)




Any current licenses you hold (skip if none) 




Any special certificates you may have, place here.



Enter the names and locations of any schools you have attended.  indicate courses of special studies and graduation dates.



Furnished upon request. Eligible for rehire with all past employers. Commendations available for inspection upon request.


 (references are not especially used on this type of resume' / cv but be prepared to present them at an interview.)




Jobs in the Industry of Oil and Gas Extraction


The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor.

Page URL: http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs005.htm





Nature of the Industry | Working Conditions | Employment

Occupations in the Industry | Training and Advancement | Earnings

Outlook | Sources of Additional Information



Significant Points

About 60 percent of the industry’s workforce is concentrated in 4



Although technological innovations have expanded exploration and development worldwide, employment is expected to decline.




Nature of the Industry


Petroleum, or oil as it is more commonly referred to, is a natural fuel formed from the decay of plants and animals buried beneath the ground for millions of years under tremendous heat and pressure. Formed by a similar process, natural gas often is found in separate deposits and sometimes mixed with oil. Because oil and gas are difficult to locate, exploration and drilling are key activities in the oil and gas extraction industry. Oil and natural gas furnish about three-fourths of our energy needs, fueling our homes, workplaces, factories, and transportation systems. In addition, they provide the raw materials for plastics, chemicals, medicines, fertilizers, and synthetic fibers.


Using a variety of methods, on land and at sea, small crews of specialized workers search for geologic formations that are likely to  contain oil and gas. Sophisticated equipment and advances in computer technology have increased the productivity of exploration. Maps of potential deposits are now made using remote sensing satellites. Seismic prospecting—a technique based on measuring the time it takes sound waves to travel through underground formations and return to the surface—has revolutionized oil and gas exploration. Computers and advanced software analyze seismic data to provide 3-dimensional models of subsurface rock formations. This technique lowers the risk involved in exploring by allowing scientists to locate and identify structural oil and gas reservoirs and the best locations to drill. 4-D or "time-lapsed" seismic technology tracks the movement of fluids over time and enhances production performance even further. Another method of searching for oil and gas is based on collecting and analyzing core samples of rock, clay, and sand in the earth’s layers.


After scientific studies indicate the possible presence of oil, an oil company selects a well site and installs a derrick—a tower-like steel structure—to support the drilling equipment. A hole is drilled deep in the earth until oil or gas is found, or the company abandons the effort. Similar techniques are employed in offshore drilling, except the drilling equipment is part of a steel platform that either sits on the ocean floor, or floats on the surface and is anchored to the ocean floor. Although some large oil companies do their own drilling, most land and offshore drilling is done by contractors.


In rotary drilling, a rotating bit attached to a length of hollow drill pipe bores a hole in the ground by chipping and cutting rock. As the bit cuts deeper, more pipe is added. A stream of drilling "mud"—a mixture of clay, chemicals, and water—is continuously pumped through the drill

pipe and through holes in the drill bit. Its purpose is to cool the drill bit, plaster the walls of the hole to prevent cave-ins, carry crushed rock to the surface, and prevent "blowouts" by equalizing pressure inside the hole. When a drill bit wears out, all drill pipe must be removed from the

hole a section at a time, the bit replaced, and the pipe returned to the hole. New materials and better designs have advanced drill bit technology, enabling faster, more cost effective drilling, for longer lengths of time.


Advancements in directional or horizontal drilling techniques, which allow increased access to potential reserves, have had a significant impact on drilling capabilities. Drilling begins vertically, but the drill bit can be turned so drilling can continue at an angle of up to 90 degrees.

This technique extends the reach, enabling a drill to reach separate pockets of oil or gas. Because constructing new platforms is costly, this technique is commonly employed by offshore drilling operations.


When oil or gas is found, the drill pipe and bit are pulled from the well, and metal pipe (casing) is lowered into the hole and cemented in place. The casing’s upper end is fastened to a system of pipes and valves called a wellhead, or "Christmas Tree," through which natural pressure

forces the oil or gas into separation and storage tanks. If natural pressure is not great enough to force the oil to the surface, pumps may be used. In some cases, water, steam, or gas may be injected into the oil-producing formation to improve recovery.


Crude oil is transported to refineries by pipeline, ship, barge, truck, or railroad. Natural gas is usually transported to processing plants by pipeline. While oil refineries may be many thousands of miles away from the producing fields, gas processing plants usually are near the fields, so

impurities—water, sulfur, and natural gas liquids—can be removed, before the gas is piped to customers. The oil refining industry is considered a separate industry and its activities are not covered here, even though many oil companies both extract and refine oil.


The oil and gas extraction industry has experienced both "boom" and "bust" in recent years. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the price of crude oil rose sharply, stimulating domestic exploration and production. Between 1970 and 1982—the year industry employment peaked—this industry created 438,000 jobs, a percentage increase that was more than four times greater than that of the economy as a whole. Employment rose twice as fast in the oil and gas field services segment than in crude petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids segment,

reflecting the fact that most exploration and drilling is done on a contract basis.


Starting in 1982, oil-producing countries around the world began yielding much larger volumes of crude oil, driving prices down, culminating in the collapse of oil prices in the mid-1980s. During this time, the industry experienced a sharp decline in domestic exploration and production and an extended period of downsizing and restructuring, losing almost 390,000 jobs from 1982 to 1995. As was the case during the boom period, employment in oil and gas field services changed more than employment in crude petroleum and natural gas production.



Working Conditions


Working conditions in this industry vary significantly by occupation. Jobs as roustabouts and other production workers may involve rugged outdoor work in remote areas in all kinds of weather. For these jobs, physical strength and stamina are necessary. This work involves standing for long periods of time, lifting moderately heavy objects, and climbing and stooping to work with tools that are often oily and dirty. Executives generally work in office settings, as do most administrators and clerical workers. Geologists, engineers, and managers may split their time between the office and the job sites, particularly while involved in exploration work.


Only 1 employee in 20 works fewer than 35 hours a week, reflecting few opportunities for part-time work. In fact, a higher percentage of workers in this industry work overtime than in all industries combined. The average nonsupervisory worker worked 42.7 hours per week in

1998, compared to 34.6 hours for all workers.


Oil and gas well drilling and servicing can be hazardous. However, in 1997, the rate of work-related injury and illness in the oil and gas extraction industry, as a whole, was 5.9 per 100 full-time workers, somewhat lower than the 7.1 for the entire private sector. The rate for workers in oil and gas field services, 8.7 per 100 full-time workers, was nearly five times higher than for workers in crude petroleum and natural gas, which was only 2.0.


Drilling rigs operate continuously. On land, drilling crews usually work 6 days, 8 hours a day, and then have a few days off. In offshore operations, workers can work 14 days, 12 hours a day, and then have 14 days off. If the offshore rig is located far from the coast, drilling crew members live on ships anchored nearby or in facilities on the platform itself. Workers on offshore rigs are always evacuated in the event of a storm. Most workers in oil and gas well operations and maintenance or in natural gas processing work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.


Many oil field workers are away from home for weeks or months at a time. Exploration field personnel and drilling workers frequently move from place to place as work at a particular field is completed. In contrast, well operation and maintenance workers and natural gas processing workers usually remain in the same location for extended periods of time.






The oil and gas extraction industry, with about 339,000 wage and salary jobs in 1998, is the largest industry in the mining division, accounting for more than one-half of employment. The workforce is divided between two segments: crude petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, with about 143,000 jobs, and oil and gas field services, with about 196,000 jobs.


Although onshore oil and gas extraction establishments are found in 48 States, about 60 percent of the industry’s workers in 1999 were located in just 4 States—California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. While most workers are employed on land, many work at offshore sites. Although they are not included in employment figures for this industry, many Americans are employed by oil companies at locations in Africa, the North Sea, the Far East, the Middle East, South America, and countries of the former Soviet Union.


More than 7 out of 10 establishments employ fewer than 10 workers, although more than half of all workers in this industry work in establishments with 50 or more workers (chart).


Relatively few oil and gas extraction workers are in their teens or early 20s. Over 65 percent of the workers in this industry are between 35 and 54 years of age.


Occupations in the Industry


People with many different skills are needed to explore for oil and gas, drill new wells, maintain existing wells, and process natural gas. The largest group is production workers, accounting for nearly 44 percent of industry employment. Executive, managerial, and professional workers

account for about 14 percent of employment; while clerical and administrative support workers account for about 11 percent (table 1).


A petroleum geologist or a geophysicist, who is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the information gathered, usually heads exploration operations. Other geological specialists, such as

paleontologists, who study fossil remains to locate oil; mineralogists, who study physical and chemical properties of mineral and rock samples; stratigraphers, who determine the rock layers most likely to contain oil and natural gas; and photogeologists, who examine and interpret aerial photographs of land surfaces, may also be involved in exploration activities. Additionally, exploration parties may include surveyors and drafters, who assist in surveying and mapping activities.


Some geologists and geophysicists work in district offices of oil companies or contract exploration firms, where they prepare and study geological maps and analyze seismic data. These scientists may also analyze samples from test drillings.


Other workers involved in exploration are geophysical prospectors. They lead crews consisting of gravity and seismic prospecting observers, who operate and maintain electronic seismic equipment; scouts, who investigate the exploration, drilling, and leasing activities of

other companies to identify promising areas to explore and lease; and lease buyers, who make business arrangements to obtain the use of the land with owners of land or mineral rights.


Petroleum engineers are responsible for planning and supervising the actual drilling operation, once a potential drill site has been located. These engineers develop and implement the most efficient recovery method, in order to achieve maximum profitable recovery. They also plan and supervise well operation and maintenance. Drilling superintendents serve as supervisors of drilling crews, supervising one or more drilling rigs.


Rotary drilling crews usually consist of four or five workers. Rotary drillers supervise the crew and operate machinery that controls drilling speed and pressure. Rotary-rig engine operators are in charge of engines that provide the power for drilling and hoisting. Second in charge, derrick operators work on small platforms high on rigs to help run pipe in and out of well holes and operate the pumps that circulate mud through the pipe. Rotary-driller helpers, also known as

roughnecks, guide the lower ends of pipe to well openings and connect pipe joints and drill bits.


Though not necessarily part of the drilling crew, roustabouts, or general laborers, do general oil field maintenance and construction work, such as cleaning tanks and building roads.


Pumpers and their helpers operate and maintain motors, pumps, and other surface equipment that force oil from wells and regulate the flow, according to a schedule set up by petroleum engineers and production supervisors. In fields where oil flows under natural pressure and does

not require pumping, switchers open and close valves to regulate the flow. Gaugers measure and record the flow, taking samples to check quality. Treaters test the oil for water and sediment and remove these impurities by opening a drain or using special equipment. In most fields, pumping, switching, gauging, and treating operations are automatic.


Other skilled oil field workers include oil well cementers, who mix and pump cement into the space between the casing and well walls to prevent cave-ins; acidizers, who pump acid down the well and into the producing formation to increase oil flow; perforator operators, who use subsurface "guns" to pierce holes in the casing to make openings for oil to flow into the well bore; sample-taker operators, who take samples of soil and rock formations from wells to help geologists determine the presence of oil; and well pullers, who remove pipes, pumps, and other subsurface devices from wells for cleaning, repairing, and salvaging.


Many other skilled workers—such as welders, pipefitters, electricians, and machinists—are also employed in maintenance operations to install and repair pumps, gauges, pipes, and other equipment.


In addition to the types of workers required for onshore drilling, crews at offshore locations also need radio operators, cooks, ships’ officers, sailors, and pilots. These workers make up the support personnel who work on or operate drilling platforms, crewboats, barges, and helicopters.


Most workers involved in gas processing are operators. Gas treaters tend automatically controlled treating units that remove water and other impurities from natural gas. Gas-pumping-station operators tend compressors that raise the pressure of gas for transmission in pipelines. Both types of workers can be assisted by gas-compressor operators.


Many employees in large natural gas processing plants—welders, electricians, instrument repairers, and laborers, for example—perform maintenance activities. In contrast, many small plants are automated and are checked at periodic intervals by maintenance workers or operators, or monitored by instruments that alert operators if trouble develops. In non-automated plants, workers usually combine the skills of both operators and maintenance workers.




Training and Advancement


Workers can enter the oil and gas extraction industry with a variety of educational backgrounds. The most common entry-level field jobs are as roustabouts or roughnecks, jobs that usually require little or no previous training or experience. Applicants for these routine laborer jobs must be physically fit and able to pass a physical examination. Companies also may administer aptitude tests and screen prospective employees for drug use. Basic skills can usually be learned over a period of days through on-the-job training. However, previous work experience or formal

training in petroleum technology—that provides knowledge of oil field operations and familiarity with computers and other automated equipment—can be beneficial. In fact, given the increasing complexity of operations and the sophisticated nature of technology used today, employers now demand a higher level of skill and adaptability, including the ability to work with computers and other sophisticated equipment.


Other entry-level positions, such as engineering technician, usually require at least a 2-year technical school certificate. Professional jobs, such as geologist, geophysicist, or petroleum engineer, require at least a bachelor’s degree and often a specialized graduate degree.


For well operation and maintenance jobs, companies generally prefer applicants who live nearby, have mechanical ability, and possess knowledge of oil field processes. Because this work offers the advantage of a fixed locale, members of drilling crews or exploration parties who prefer not to travel may transfer to well operation and maintenance jobs. Training is acquired on the job.


Promotion opportunities for some jobs may be limited due to the general decline of the domestic petroleum industry. Advancement opportunities for oil field workers remain best for those with skill and experience. For example, roustabouts may move up to switchers, gaugers, and pumpers.

More experienced roughnecks may advance to derrick operators and, after several years, to drillers. Drillers may advance to tool pushers. There should continue to be some opportunities for entry-level field crew workers to acquire the skills that qualify them for higher level jobs within

the industry. Due to the critical nature of the work, offshore crews, even at the entry level, generally are more experienced than land crews. Many companies will not employ someone who has no knowledge of oil field operations to work on an offshore rig, so workers who have gained

experience as part of a land crew might advance to offshore operations.


As workers gain knowledge and experience, U.S. or foreign companies operating in other countries also may hire them. Although this can be a lucrative and exciting experience, it may not be suitable for everyone, because it usually means leaving family and friends and adapting to

different customs and living standards.


Experience gained in many oil and gas extraction jobs also has application in other industries. For example, roustabouts can move to construction jobs, while machinery operators and repairers can transfer to other industries with similar machinery. Geologists and engineers may

become involved with environmental activities, especially those related to this industry.





Average earnings in the oil and gas extraction industry were significantly higher than the average for all industries (table 2). Due to the working conditions, employees at offshore operations generally earn higher wages than workers at onshore oil fields. College-educated workers and

technical school graduates in professional and technical occupations usually earn the most. Earnings in selected occupations in oil and gas extraction appear in table 3.


Few industry workers belong to unions. In fact, only about 4 percent of workers were union members or covered by union contracts in 1998, compared to about 15 percent of all workers throughout private industry.





The level of future crude petroleum and natural gas exploration and development, and therefore, employment opportunities, remain contingent upon a number of uncertainties—most importantly, the future price of oil and gas. Sharply higher prices mean companies, seeking greater profits, can be expected to implement new technologies, expand domestic exploration and production, and increase employment. Substantially lower prices, on the other hand, could make domestic

exploration and continued production from many existing wells unprofitable, resulting in reduced employment opportunities.


In addition, environmental concerns, accompanied by strict regulation and limited access to protected Federal lands, continue to have a major impact on the industry. For example, environmental constraints, especially restrictions on drilling in environmentally sensitive areas,

should continue to limit exploration and development, both onshore and offshore.


Overall employment in the oil and gas extraction industry is expected to decline 17 percent through the year 2008, even though worldwide demand for oil and gas is expected to remain strong. Employment in the crude petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids segment of the

industry is expected to decline about 46 percent, while employment in oil and gas field services—which includes all contract exploration and drilling services—is expected to increase by 5 percent.


While some new oil and gas deposits are being found in this country, especially in coastal waters, companies are increasingly moving to more lucrative foreign locations. As companies expand into other areas around the globe, the need for employees in the United States is reduced. However, advances in technology have increased the proportion of exploratory wells that yield oil and gas, enhanced offshore exploration and drilling capabilities, and extended the production of existing wells. As a result, more exploration and development ventures are profitable and provide employment opportunities that otherwise would have been lost.


Technological innovations, coupled with the declining cost of implementing such technologies, have reduced employment in many areas. Because overall employment is expected to decline, the need to replace workers who transfer to other industries, retire, or leave the workforce will be the sole source of job openings. Nevertheless, there is demand for qualified professionals and production workers who have significant experience in oil field operations and who can work with these new technologies. Employment opportunities will be best for those with previous experience and with strong technical skills. As employers develop and implement new technologies—such as 3-D and 4-D seismic exploration methods, horizontal and directional drilling techniques, and deepwater and subsea technologies—more workers capable of using sophisticated equipment will be needed.





 Overseas Employment Scams



     The reason you are reading this book may be a strong desire to work abroad. But why? Perhaps the stories of easy money and romantic adventure drive you to leave the United States and find happiness in a foreign culture. These same stories give scam artists the fuel they need to bilk countless people out of millions of dollars.

     Often it is not easy to spot a scam, especially about something unknown like jobs supposedly available overseas. You will see advertisements in prestigious newspapers and magazine, which make legitimate sounding claims of excitement and excellent salaries. The ads sound like others you might find in your local employment classifieds. But there are telltale signs that may indicate a scam.


1.       They ask for money up front.

2.       They use post office boxes, instead of office addresses.

3.       They make promises of employment and guarantees of refunds.

4.       They charge fees for giving you a job lead.


To see how these scam artists operate, consider the following three cases taken from the files of the Federal Trade Commission.






     The Federal Trade Commission charged a Las Vegas partnership with conducting a deceptive overseas job placement scam. According to the FTC's complaint, this company and three individuals allegedly offered overseas employment matching services. They claimed to match consumers' qualifications and skills with companies that were hiring Americans in Australia and other countries.  They typically sold their services for $290.


     The FTC's complaint charged that company falsely claimed that:


     --   clients were very likely to obtain overseas employment in Australia or other countries;


     --   they had existing relationships with numerous firms that have jobs overseas;


     --   they derived most of their income from fees paid by hiring companies; and


     --   they had located specific employers interested in hiring, or prepared to hire, particular clients.


     This company also represented that it would refund the fee to any client who was not satisfied with its services.  However, according to the complaint, the company frequently refused to refund fees, or made refunds only after clients filed complaints with governmental or consumer protection agencies.


     In addition, the company sometimes had employees or associates contact potential clients and falsely represent that they were prospective employers interested in hiring the client, according to the complaint.


     These misrepresentations "caused substantial financial injury to numerous individual consumers," the complaint alleged.


     The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, at the FTC's request, issued a temporary restraining order, froze the assets of the company and the individuals, and appointed a temporary receiver to run the company.  The Commission also asked the court to issue a permanent injunction against any misrepresenta-

tions in the sale of job placement or resume preparation services or any other products or services, and to order the defendants to pay redress to consumers at the conclusion of the case.


     The investigation and litigation were handled by the FTC's San Francisco Regional Office.  The Commission received substantial assistance in the investigation from the Nevada Labor Commission

and the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada.


     Copies of the complaint are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY 202-326-2502.






     The Federal Trade Commission charged Company B with conducting a fraudulent telemarketing scheme that promised to place consumers in overseas jobs, but which had bilked approximately 70,000 consumers out of an estimated $25 million. According to the complaint, Company B and its two owners and officers, XYZ and his wife, ABC, allegedly offered overseas employment matching services.  They claimed to "match" job applicants with a computerised data base of actual current job openings and to send customers' resumes to companies which had job openings matching the customers' skills.

     Company B sold its services for $395 to $550, and advertised in national and local magazines and newspapers, by telephone and by mailed promotional materials.

     The FTC's complaint charged that owners falsely claimed that:


    --   customers were very likely to get overseas jobs through their placement services.  In fact, the complaint alleged, many or most of the customers did not obtain jobs through Company B.


    --   they had information on 10,000 to 15,000 or more currently available overseas job openings.  According to the complaint, they actually had information on substantially fewer than 10,000 openings.


    --   they maintained "close working relationships" with hundreds of companies which had overseas jobs

available, and that they discussed individual customers' applications with those companies.  The complaint charged that they had no such "close working relationships," and that on few, if any, occasions had they discussed individual applications.


    --   they matched customers with at least three prospective employers within the time specified in the contract, and made refunds to customers who were not provided matches.  In fact, the complaint alleged, they did not match all customers with three prospective employers within the time limit and did not provide refunds.


     Consumers had suffered "substantial injury" as a result of these actions, the complaint charged.


     The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, at the Commission's request, issued a temporary restraining order, froze the assets of the company and the individuals, and appointed a receiver to run the company. The Commission also asked the court to issue a permanent

injunction against any misrepresentations in the sale of employment matching services and to order the defendants to pay redress to consumers at the conclusion of the case.

     Company was based in Los Angeles, and has maintained offices in Boise, Idaho; Newark, N.J.; and Tampa, Fla. The Commission had the cooperation of a number of state and federal officials in developing the case.

      Copies of the court filings are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY 202-326-2502.






A federal district court has prohibited Company C of Coral Springs, Florida, from falsely promising that it had found jobs for individuals, was hiring workers on behalf of other firms, or that it would fully refund deposits applicants had paid to hold purported jobs.  The court order followed earlier Federal Trade Commission charges that the company had engaged in a deceptive scheme offering jobs in the Caribbean.  The order also applies to company directors ABC, also known as XYZ, and also known as OPQ.


     The court order stemmed from an FTC lawsuit filed in the court.  The FTC alleged that Company C placed help-wanted ads in newspapers throughout the United States inviting job seekers to call an 800 telephone number for information about construction employment featuring high pay -- $70,000 to $85,000 a year -- and good benefits.  According to the FTC complaint detailing the charges, the defendants charged job seekers $289 each as a "refundable good faith" deposit for placement in a "guaranteed" position.  In fact, the FTC charged, applicants received neither the promised jobs nor refunds of their deposits. Company C was not hiring for construction jobs with any firm in the Caribbean area, nor had the defendants reserved any construction jobs for the applications, the FTC charged.


     At the time the FTC filed the complaint, the court granted the agency's request to freeze the defendants' assets to preserve any funds for consumer redress.  After the defendants failed to respond to the complaint as required, the court entered defaults against them.  The court order was a default final.  In addition to the prohibitions on future conduct, the judgment required the defendants to pay $45,373 in redress, but the FTC said it was not certain how much of the judgment would be collected.


     The judgment also included various reporting requirements to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants' compliance.


     The FTC's San Francisco Regional Office handled the matter with substantial assistance from the Florida Attorney General's office, which provided an Assistant Attorney General to help in prosecuting the case.  The Coral Springs Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Postal Service also provided assistance.


     Copies of the default final judgment, as well as the complaint and the news release issued at that time, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 202-326-2502.



      According to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, you can protect yourself against overseas employment scams by using common sense, and following a few basic rules.



1.       You should ask for references.

2.       Check them out in the state they list as an address.

3.       Get everything in writing.

4.       Forget about companies with no legitimate street address.

5.       Be very skeptical of overseas employment opportunities that sound "too good to be true."

6.       Never send cash in the mail, and be extremely cautious with firms that require a money order. This could indicate that the firm is attempting to avoid a traceable record of its transactions.

7.       Do not be fooled by official-sounding names. Many scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.

8.       Avoid working with firms that require payment in advance.

9.       Do not give your credit card or bank account number to telephone solicitors.

10.   Read the contract very carefully. Have an attorney look over any documents you are asked to sign.

11.   Beware of an agency that is unwilling to give you a written contract.

12.   Do not hesitate to ask questions. You have a right to know what services to expect and the costs involved.

13.   Do not make a hasty decision. Instead, take time to weigh all the pros and cons of the situation. Be wary of demands that "you must act now."

14.   Keep a copy of all agreements you sign, as well as copies of checks you forward to the company.