Careers in Welding: Top Five Reasons Why You Should Become a Welder on an Offshore Drilling Rig

Whether you’ve heard this before or not, it definitely warrants repeating: skilled trades workers are in high demand—especially in the Welding Trade. If you’re a trained welder, you will not only have no problem finding a job, you can pick and choose from a variety of interesting, exciting and lucrative employment options, with real growth potential. Remember: welding is more than a job—it’s a career!

And speaking of welding careers, did you know that becoming a welder on an offshore drilling rig is one the most exciting and lucrative career opportunities currently available in the welding trade? Sounds interesting huh? In fact, if you’re concerned about job security and are looking for a job opportunity that pays above average wage, working on an offshore drilling rig is one of the best welding jobs you can find in the welding industry today.

The following is a list of the Top Five Reasons why you should become a welder on an offshore drilling rig:

  1. Excitement: An offshore drilling platform is like its own little city; living and working on a drilling rig is a totally unique experience, unlike any you’ve had before. Definitely a lot more interesting and exciting than working in a fabrication shop, on a typical construction site, or making your average field repairs.
  2. Interesting work: Of course welding is welding, but you’ve probably never encountered a work situation like an offshore drill rig. As stated above, drilling platforms are like their own little cities, and the variety of welding projects you’ll be working on will not only keep you busy, but engage your interest and keep you on your toes—you’ll definitely learn a ton.
  3. Rate of Pay: The average pay for an oil rig welder is $62,000 per year—more than double the average rate for welders in most manufacturing and construction jobs.
  4. Job Security: While more and more manufacturing jobs are moving overseas, and as government stimulus funds underwriting many construction, road, and public works projects dry up, job security is a growing issue in the welding trade. In the offshore drilling industry, however, welders are in higher demand than ever before, making it easier than ever to secure a job, and keep it.
  5. Travel: If you love to travel, and have desire to see the world—working on a drilling rig may be the perfect job for you. Offshore drilling is conducted in every major ocean/sea across the globe. Offshore drilling rigs are currently located in the Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to South America, in the North Atlantic, off the Atlantic coast of Northeast Africa, in the Mediterranean Sea, and in the Indian Ocean (to name a few). Your travel options are limitless!

The Downside

As with most things in life, you’ve gotta take the good with the bad, and offshore rig welding is no Oil-rig-jobs-no-experience-entry10 different. In an effort to provide you with a total picture of the offshore rig work experience, the following list outlines some of the potential drawbacks and pitfalls you may encounter while working as a welder on an offshore drilling rig:

  • Experience: Oil rig-based welding jobs are not for entry-level welders. You need at least 3-5 years of practical manufacturing or construction welding experience to qualify for most drilling platform welding jobs. Most drilling companies prefer a welding certification (another reason to obtain your welding certification), but if you’ve got a lot of practical experience, you still have a good chance of landing a drilling rig job.
  • Strength and Physical Demands: If you’re in the twilight or your career, or have any physical limitation, welding on an offshore drilling rig is probably not the job for you. The work tends to be physically demanding, and can be quite dangerous. Mobility, agility and above average physical strength are all a must to succeed in this job.
  • Managing Personal and Romantic Relationships: Working on an offshore drilling rig is a job best suited to young, single men. If you’re married or in a serious relationship, you may be in for a rocky road, unless you have a very understanding wife or girlfriend. Most contracts are a minimum of three months, and many run six months or longer, taking you away from your wife/significant other, children, family and friends for an extended period of time. If you’re not prepared for this kind of estrangement, working on an oil drilling rig may not be the ticket for you.
  • Danger: Working on a drilling rig is serious business. Accidents causing severe injury or death, in addition to explosions and fires that can lead to complete destruction of the rig are a real possibility. It’s by no means an everyday occurrence, but it does happen.

But despite the downside, working on an offshore drilling rig represents an excellent welding career opportunity, and the experience gained from the job will make you eminently employable in almost any welding field.

For additional resources, or to find an offshore drilling rig welding job, visit, they can definitely help put you on the path to finding the right job for you.

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11 thoughts on “Careers in Welding: Top Five Reasons Why You Should Become a Welder on an Offshore Drilling Rig”

  1. michael colella says:

    I am a welder on natural gas lines 2” to 30”

  2. TTmufukinNASTY says:

    Yeah I figured my comment of actual field experience would be deleted.

    1. bakersgas says:


      We appreciate the comments especially from anybody who offers actual field experience! The reason your comment was deleted was due to profanity. If you could repost without the profanity, we’d be happy to approve the comment! Any feedback is great feedback.



  3. Randy says:

    I would love an opportunity in this field. With 6 years of experience in pipe and structural welding, including a Union pipe welder, I feel I’m ready to further my career. I’m 35, single with no kids and am currently researching to be a CWI. But even If I take and pass the CWI exam I still would like the experience and say so to be an offshore rig welder.

  4. Tristin says:

    What certs are required for this field of work ASME IX OR API 1104?

  5. Thomas pauley says:

    Im still in school and exploring the options. And input?

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I’m a female looking to get into welding but I don’t know any schools around my area I’ve always wanted to work on a rig growing up in Texas it was always like a dream but I’m here in New Jersey now , but I’m looking now to see what schools are around I don’t wanna get discouraged because I know this is more of a male trade but I’m going for it . I was just trying to see what certification I need any info would be great thank you guys !

  7. Nicola Amadio says:

    Hi I would like to understand something about the work 1
    Usually in the offshore is 15 days on and 15 day off isn’t
    Thanks Regards

  8. Braylon Orion says:

    Can’t agree more, yes welders and metal fabricators trades are high in demand. By working at offshore rigs you can make as much money as you can. People related to the pipe welding, door welding or any welding related trade you can get into rig welding and fabrication field. This will help you in making a lot more money than any other trade.

  9. Dale says:

    I would like to know what kind of certs you need to do this I have 7 years experience building railcars takers and Hopper cars and doing repaires in a facility and currently am building and welding pipe fitting any where from 12″ to 96″

  10. Tyler Fisher says:

    Looking for offshore pipe welding / combo welding job. I have worked overseas for the last 13 years welding in all kinds of environments and countries. If anyone knows of someone looking to hire a 36 year old guy that has been around and willing to do anything, and I am a team player. Please let me know, myself and my family would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Tyler

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