In some ways, a job in an oil rig is a bit like a jail sentence, or a job in the army. You are confined to a rather cramped location for a long period of time, then the people in charge let you out. Then you go back in. And out again. And repeat this process again and again.
In other ways, life on an oil rig is quite good. An entry-level job could bring you $50,000 or more per year for just 6 months of work. Compare this to an office clerk who only brings home $30,000 to $40,000 per year while working 5-1/2 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Or a junior computer programmer who often has to work 50 to 80 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.
Mind you, working on an oil rig can be mentally very demanding. Although modern oil rigs offer quite comfortable accommodations with good facilities, you have to remember that you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere, seeing the same faces day in and day out for 1 whole month before you get a break. After your 1-month break, you have to see these same faces again. You can’t drown your sorrows in beer every Friday night. While you are on the oil rig, there is no escape.
The men who work oil rig jobs have to be mentally tough. They have to be tolerant and have good self-control. They can’t get into a fight every time someone makes them angry. They can’t become distracted just because they feel upset, or angry, or irritated. They can’t become depressed just because they can’t see or talk to their families every night.
When you are in an oil rig job, you have to be self-reliant and learn fast. You don’t need a PhD, but neither can you afford to be a fool. You have to be alert and vigilant and careful all the time. No one is going to always look over your shoulder to supervise you and make sure you do everything right. Much like construction jobs, or jobs in other hazardous environments, mistakes could kill you or your friends. If you are someone who is careless, or tend to make mistakes, you should avoid oil rig jobs. If isolation drives you nuts, you had better get a job in an office instead.
Overall, an oil rig job is tough and demanding, but very rewarding. Adding the fact that oil prices are likely to remain high for the next decade, this is a good time to get an oil rig job, if you are tough enough to handle it.