Rig Welding Jobs: What You Need To Know About Oil Rig Welder Jobs

Published: 09th February 2009
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Rig welding jobs pay about $62,000 per year. This is more than double the average salary of welders in the manufacturing industry - good news as more and more production jobs move overseas. Even if this will be your first oil rig job, you still have a chance to get hired. Like roustabout jobs, rig welder jobs are considered entry level on an oil rig. Before you run out to look for these jobs, here is some background information to get you started.

The oil industry is always looking to hire qualified rig welders - the key point being "qualified". In most cases, you will be tested on your level of skill before you are hired. Of course, it helps to be certified, whatever that means in your jurisdiction. Certainly makes it easier for your resume to get through the oil contractor's human resources department.

In the UK, some oil companies require their welders to be certified up to "6 GR" by CITB (formerly known as City and Guilds). At this level, your welding needs to be very precise, even passing x-ray testing. In the US, much of your welding certification is not transferable between employers, and only lasts for 6 months. The exception is if you take your welding test at an accredited AWS facility.

It helps if you know someone already working as a rig welder. For one thing, he can help to recommend a job to you. For another, he can tell you what types of welding he usually does on his oil rig - what type of material, what positions, what processes, and so on and so forth. This kind of information can help you to prepare for the test.

Note that there are two main types of oil rig welding jobs. In the first type, you are permanently attached to the oil rig. Your job is to carry out repairs and build new metalwork. In the second type, you are part of a flying squad of welders. You go in when a big project needs to be finished quickly.

Be warned, most oil rig jobs (including rig welder's jobs) are best suited to single young men. They are very physically demanding and somewhat dangerous. Many oil rigs are located somewhere difficult to reach, so oil rig workers are often out of touch with their families. Unless your girlfriend or wife is very understanding, you might find your relationship in trouble.

Rig welding jobs pay very well for what is basically blue collar work. Since many companies consider this an entry level oil rig job, you have a good chance of getting in even if you have never worked on an oil rig.

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