A Guide to Working Offshore

What Is Life Like Working Offshore?

Ever wondered what it’s like to live on an oil rig? In this article, we will take a deep dive into the lifestyle of working on an offshore platform.

First things first, this career won’t be for everyone – you have to be prepared to ride the waves! Long working hours, harsh weather conditions, lengthy periods of time away from home and remote surroundings. Despite some differences from the usual 9-5 job, this path certainly has financial benefits, hence why this way of life is becoming more popular.

What to expect

A lot depends on the installation. Whether it is a drilling rig, a production platform, or an FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel), they all differ. Some are large, some huge, others small. However, to give you an idea a typical working platform would have around 100-200 professionals, both men and woman. Living conditions on the oil rigs have improved massively & many meet the standards of 4-star hotels. During your stay you will receive free food and drink (canteen onsite with hot and cold options 24 hours a day) laundry/housekeeping services and access to facilities that will keep you entertained such as – game rooms, saunas, gyms and that all-important WIFI connection so that you can stay in touch with the loved ones!

Working times

The usual working shift is 12 hours ‘on’ and 12 hours ‘off’ and many shift patterns are a mixture of both day and night because it’s a 24/7 operation. Many offshore jobs require shift patterns of 2 or 3 weeks on the rig / 2-3 weeks onshore, but the patterns can be longer.


Working on an oil rig has very strict rules to abide by, so don’t expect a beer with your dinner as alcohol is strictly forbidden. Any type of drug use is highly intolerable – you will be drug tested before and may be randomly tested during your assignment. For smokers, there are normally designated smoking rooms/areas which workers can use.

What kind of salary should I expect?

Working in a foreign country is financially more attractive. Most of the oil rig companies and in the gas industry are based on areas as Texas, Alberta, Louisiana, Dakota, Australia, Venezuela, Middle East, Brazil, North Sea or Scandinavian coast. Workforces are built up of Contract workers and Permanent members of staff.

Here is a rough guide of salary expectations:

  • A minimum wage of £233 a day
  • Entry Level such as Roustabouts – around £38,000 per annum
  • Specialized jobs such as that of Driller – around £45,000 per annum
  • Tool-pushers, Drill Leaders and Supervisors – around £60,000 – £75,000 per annum
  • Scientists and Engineers around – £75,000 – £120,000 per annum

We hope you now have a clearer understanding of life offshore, should you wish to take an opportunity on-board an oil rig and would like some more advice on this subject please contact us on 01923 277900.

​If you require further assistance – Futurelink Group has been supporting contract workers in the Oil & Gas sector for over 23 years and provide a number of payment options to suit the worker’s expectations while meeting the needs of the employing company. If you would like more details please get in touch.