Oil rigs are in constant need of welders. Drilling operations are tough on mechanical equipment and breakdowns are usually a daily occurrence. It is the welder's job to see to the day-to-day maintenance of welding broken machinery back together. Scaffolding and derricks continually need to be repaired. Plus, what the daily wear and tear does not destroy, exposure to the harsh elements can also accomplish.
Drill rig welders are responsible for building new metal frameworks, repairs, and new construction. In the oil industry there are two main types of rig welders. The first type is one who has a permanent job at one specific site. They may even work for just one company and travel between several sites. The other type of rig welder is one who is part of a construction team that is flown in for large projects. Building new rigs within a short timetable would be one such project. Whatever type you work as, a welder must possess a good understanding of fabrication, able to read blueprints and layouts, knowledge of safety precautions, the difference between regular pipe and high-pressure pipe, and a number of other industry specific requirements.
Welding for oil rigs can be physically demanding and many times require working in high places. It is a job best suited for individuals who are physically fit and can work in a variety of environments. It also requires a lot of time away from home. Welders who are married and have families might go weeks at a time without seeing them, coming home for about two weeks out of the month.
Oil companies constantly hire welders. It is more of an entry level job, especially for onshore site. However, welders working offshore on drilling platforms can earn three times as much as welders working in the manufacturing industry. A certification is often required to be a welder and that certification must be regularly updated. Testing is conducted before a company hires you to make sure you are qualified. They don't just hire anyone. The average salary for welders is around $60,000 a year.
There are several job hierarchies in the oil industry. The lowest job on the team of rig employees is the roustabout. Roustabouts are unskilled laborers who are just learning their trade in the oil industry. Their primary job is cleaning and maintaining the oil rig. Roustabouts are responsible for moving...