Everything you need to know about offshore marine jobs

    Automation has made offshore marine jobs quite easy. It’s not like a decade ago where these jobs were reserved only as a last resort for people who were ready to spend their entire lives hauling heavy machinery around floating islands in oil-soaked garments.

    If you have been thinking of giving it a shot, it’s time to cut all the doubts and get applying. Here is everything you need to get started on the application process.

    offshore marine jobs


    How is offshore life like?

    As you would expect, working offshore is quite different from working on dry land. As an offshore worker, you will in most cases be airlifted to your area of work by a helicopter where you will spend days or even months without coming back onshore.

    Where to find offshore marine jobs

    Offshore jobs are mostly found on oil rigs, commonly known as the floating islands. These “islands” usually have every facility that the workers need to survive including cafes, healthcare units, and entertainment hubs.

    To make workers feel at home, modern day rigs are now more comfortable than ever. You can spend time in fitness rooms, gaming hubs, movie rooms, or simply rest in your well-refurbished room.

    How long are offshore jobs shifts

    Virtually all of the jobs will require the employees to work for 12-hour shifts. This is actually not a big problem because there is literally not much that you can do while you are not at work in the middle of the ocean. Some companies will even facilitate employees who feel that they might want to work longer in some days by offering catering personnel around the clock. The catering personnel will handle almost everything including cleaning, laundry, and the cooking.

    At top companies like Maersk Drilling and Schlumberger, you will only be required to work 12-hour shifts for one full month and rest the following month. In most instances, you will be asked to attend training in the period you are not on duty.

    Offshore job categories

    Offshore rig jobs are grouped into four major categories which include:

    1. Drilling positions

    These jobs involve the handling of the drilling equipment in action both manually and with cyber equipment.

    1. Maintenance jobs

    Jobs in this department usually involve the assembling, marine welding, maintenance and repair of machinery on board. The workers are also mandated with taking care of all electrical operations on the rig.

    1. Marine jobs

    The marine team takes care of assembling, testing as well as disassembling of the DPS (Dynamic Positioning System). They are also responsible for the crane, ballast, anchor, fabric maintenance, all control room activities, and guiding aircraft landings and takeoffs.

    1. Rig admin positions

    The job positions here are mostly supervisory. Typical tasks involve planning employees’ transport off and to the site, ensuring preparedness to emergencies, taking care of the employees’ health care, and any other concern relating to the welfare of the employees.

    Offshore job positions and salaries

    Drilling companies offer a wide range of careers opportunities offshore. If you are a skilled manual worker, a certified engineer, or just a person wishing to get a feel of offshore life, here are the job positions that you can apply for:

    • Marine mechanic

    The duties for this job include the maintenance and repair of boats, oil changes on different machinery, pump repair and rebuilds, valve adjustments, and many others. Most companies will offer the necessary training to the selected candidate. Companies will mostly be looking for a candidate with top-notch mechanical skills, the ability to work without supervision, welding experience, and a certified driver.

    The marine mechanic’s services are usually required all year round. Even so, the remuneration and the employee benefits are quite reasonable.

    • Electrician

    Top companies are always looking for electricians with 3+ years experience in AC and DC systems, preferably in marine environments. The candidate is also expected to be knowledgeable about machines such as inverters and generators.

    The minimum educational qualification is a high school diploma or its equivalent. ABYC certifications, safety certifications, and electrical practice permits are a plus.

    The starting salary for this position ranges from $17-$20 per hour.

    • Assistant engineer

    The assistant engineer oversees the operation of all machinery, makes log entries, and reports any problems to the engineer in charge. While on duty, the assistant engineer also helps with the repairing of the vessels.

    To qualify for this position, the candidate must possess a USCG certification, be familiar with EMD and CAT Engines, a valid TWIC card, and other endorsements such as PIC (Person in Charge), TE (Tanker Engineer), and STCW. Skills that the candidate must possess include the ability to work in tight spaces, carrying heavy tools, and ability to climb and descend long ladders.

    • Endangered species observer

    The endangered species observer conducts endangered species observations aboard offshore dredging projects. The candidate for the job must be able to identify marine animals at distance and report any interactions with live species to various government agencies.

    The ideal candidate should have previous experience dealing with marine animals, must be able to obtain endangered species approvals from authorities, and must have a Degree in Marine Biology or any other similar course.


    Other common offshore marine job positions you can apply for include marine welder, captain, sales, marine mechanic helper, offshore technical superintendent, tanker man, marine biologist, pump operator, helicopter pilot, field technician, safety coach, healthcare staff,  cooking staff, and many others.