Oil Rig Derrickhand Jobs
There's no denying that working in the petroleum industry takes a special type of person. And working on oil drilling platforms and derricks takes an especially adept and hardy individual to get the many strenuous and challenging jobs done. The Derrickhand, for example, assists the Driller with any equipment maintenance and takes care of the pumps and the special "mud" systems used when drilling for the oil. An ability to work at heights is also an essential aspect of this position as Derrickhands must often climb the derrick (About 25 meters above the platform floor) and guide the pipe into the derrick structure. The Derrickhand uses a safety harness and special climbing apparatus to reach the higher levels of the derrick while performing his duties.
You should be physically fit and have a strong work ethic and not stop until the job is done. There's no quitting halfway through on an oil rig job where millions of dollars of oil are at stake at any one time. You have to be certain that you are capable of doing the work before you sign on for this type of duty. You must also be capable of traveling to remote locations and must be able to work outdoors for long periods of time, regardless of the weather conditions. The work is hard but the compensation is always worth the trouble.
Other duties of Derrickhands can include:
- Controlling the viscosity of the drilling fluid known as "mud"
- Listen to mud pumps, checking regularly for vibration and other operational problems
- Maintain the mudtanks and keep them in good repair
- Make sure the derrick is inspected before raising or lowering pipe
- Maintain the drilling equipment with the aid of the Driller
- Help out in the training of new crewmembers
Work schedules are usually based on twelve-hour shifts; depending on where the work is and how many crew personnel the platform has at any one time. Derrickhands can expect to earn anywhere from $30 to $45 an hour, Again, this will depend on the location of the work and sometimes the season of the work itself.