Getting a job on offshore rig without previous offshore experience
Tips and advice
For workers with previous experience, getting a job on offshore rigs is easy. The very fact you had a chance to try yourself in whatever offshore position, gives you hand over the candidates that didn't. For HR managers your having offshore experience is a sufficient proof you would sustain the hardships, associated with working and living on offshore oil production platforms. From the other hand, the inexperienced applicants have real headache, trying to get employed for offshore entry-level job for their first time in life. Each and every recruiter or staffing agency that work for offshore oil drilling contractors always ask, whether the candidate has got that prior experience of working on offshore oil rigs. When you apply even for a simple entry-level job of Roustabout or, say, a Galleyhand in catering, which has very little to do with actually operating or servicing drilling equipment, they always ask whether you have offshore experience. But how on earth you could get it, if all of them are reluctant to hire greenhand candidates without previous offshore experience the HR clerks believe is so important?
Captain Jim's first and foremost advice reads: do not give up, if you were rejected for, what you feel, was the lack of the hands-on experience of working on offshore oil platform. Take it this way: practically everyone, currently working on offshore oil rigs, be it Roustabout, Roughneck, Derrickman, Motorman, Rig Mechanic or Foreman, leading the drilldeck crew, they all once upon a time set their foot on an offshore rig's helideck down from helicopter that had flown them there in order to start from scratch as greenhand worker with absolutely zero practical awareness of what it's like to work and live on offshore platform or aboard a drillship for at least two weeks without day offs.
Moreover, be ready to get rejected during your first interviews, for statistically it would be really unique to hit the target from the first shot. You just keep trying and demonstrate persistence, and never forget to ask, what they would advise to you, those hiring decision authority entitled people, so you could improve your chances to get hired and ultimately land that dream offshore job in spite of not having previous offshore experience. Getting inside offshore oil drilling industry to a big extent depend on having luck as well, the circumstances can play in your favor. It could happen the crewing agency got a sudden hot vacancy to fill urgently because of an unplanned situation - say, a regular worker suddenly fell ill. Why not give a chance to that persistent guy, then, bothering everybody in the office for months? Things do happen. Some oil rigs happen to hire complete big teams of unskilled laborers, Offshore Roustabouts, when a big volume of job needs to be done quickly. The companies then hire temporary workers and dismiss them after 1 - 2 weeks, when the job is done. It is not the money that they pay, it is offshore experience you should be after at that stage. Even if it was only two weeks that you worked on a shallow water offshore jack-up type platform, only several miles away from coast, still it's offshore experience. By the way, you don't have to have the trade professional background to count to be hired for entry-level positions like Roustabout or Pipe Fitter.
The things look brighter for those greenhand offshore job seekers, who do not have offshore experience, but who's got the trade experience on mainland. If you belong to such, you could be recommended to try to get offshore experience through servicing companies. Servicing companies are normally subsidiaries or divisions of companies that manufacture the equipment, which can be found on offshore oil rigs. All routine maintenance and less serious repairs are usually done by specially instructed and trained offshore crew members, but where there's a serious or breakdown or more complicated issue with equipment to be fixed, it is the servicing company who sends it's employee or consultant to the offshore oil rig. By finding an employment of the sort with offshore rig equipment servicing company, you could find your way to getting some offshore experience while on your repairs mission.
When offshore job announcement reads "no experience needed", the recruiters that composed it, generally mean no experience of working in a specific position in offshore oil & gas sector. Anyone can apply, that's true. All applicants will usually be strong and healthy young or middle age men, fit and strong. Still the selection process of good candidates to fill the offshore entry-level vacancies of the sort must be one of the strictest, even if unskilled positions like Roustabout or Deckhand do not involve performing duties, requiring any qualities that are hard to find among this manpower resource group. Under such circumstances recruiters will normally select the candidates they could guess to be most motivated.
The preference will be given to retired military, former seamen, scuba divers etc. - offshore oil drilling companies just love them. But what to do, if you had no luck to belong to them? Then you may focus on reflecting your motivation in your CV/Resumé or during the interview, should they put you on the shortlist and it comes to that. For example, you could complete at your own expense OPITO approved BOSIET training course and get certification. BOSIET certification never guarantees you'll get a job, but it could be a good sign for recruiters, indicating that the greenhand candidate's approach is a motivated one, and he himself is serious about his intention to get that first-time entry-level no-experience-needed offshore job to such extent that he or she is ready to invest and risk his or her money in hope to obtain a chance to prove himself capable to work on offshore rig in harsh environment, regardless of the weather, loud noises of machinery, high risk of being hurt etc. for a good salary.
The bottom line is here: if a greenhand seeker of entry-level low-end job like Roustabout, Painter, Cleaner, Mechanical Fitter, Kitchen Helper, different Trainee positions does have some not important how small experience, or at least some training through attending some kind of specialized courses that teach offshore work basics to the industry novices or to free willing enrollees, the chances of such candidate for getting hired will improve dramatically. Recent graduation from the first aid, CPR, health and safety and survival courses could be a huge plus and will provide a solid foundation for a successful start of your offshore career on oil production platforms. All said, offshore oil jobs on rigs with no experience needed aren't a myth. Just join the competition and do it, fight for that really good paying dream job in offshore oil industry that could change your life forever.