If you enjoy a bit of hands-on work and want to work in a stable industry, welding could be the right career for you.
There are many different things you can do as a welder, but the highest-paying jobs often go to those willing to risk a little danger. With that, learn what it’s like to be an offshore oil rig welder.
Long days, long shifts
When you work on an offshore oil rig, you actually have to live there. Since living 24/7 on an oil rig isn’t very appealing, most jobs come in shifts. You’ll work on the rig for a couple of weeks, then be off for about the same amount of time. This way, you can return home and spend time with family and friends.
While living on the rig, you won’t be on duty all the time, but the work days are long—most will be between 10 and 12 hours. Of course, it’s not like there’s much else to do on most rigs.
Minimal personal space
If you decide to work in offshore welding, be prepared to get cozy with your coworkers. Since space is at a premium, you won’t have your own bedroom. Instead, you’ll probably have nothing more than a bunk bed and a locker to store things in. However, since being on an oil rig is pretty isolating, it can be nice to have people around to talk to.
A lot of the welding that happens on offshore oil rigs takes place underwater, where the oil pipelines are located. It will be your job to dive down into the water to fix and maintain pipes carrying highly explosive oil. It’s a dangerous job with many risks, but that’s why it’s one of the top ten highest-paying welding jobs.
Many oil rigs are stationed in very cold locations. It’s also generally colder at sea than it is on land. While living on the rig, you’ll need to tolerate working in freezing cold temperatures and storms. Sometimes, you’ll even need to dive during dangerous weather conditions.
Being an offshore oil rig welder is dangerous and occasionally lonely, but it can be highly profitable. If you prefer hands-on work over a boring office job, offshore welding may be the right job for you.