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Working on a rig?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by JD88, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. JD88

    JD88 Member

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    I am in school now after doing a stint in the Corps, and now Im stuck in which direction I want to go in life.

    I use my GI bill now, have money in the bank, school is paid for, but it sucks and I don't feel like I learn anything worthwhile in class. What difference does it make what some philosopher said 200 years ago?

    I've always enjoyed working outside, hard demanding work, and I enjoy money. So, yesterday I am presented with an opportunity to attend a training program that is backed up for months, but I met the executive director of the program by chance and she offered me a position in the program.

    The deal is, it's 8 weeks and they guarantee I have a job before I finish the program. A job as Leadhand (floorhand), which pays pretty well. If I work that long enough, maybe I can work my way up the ladder and make the big bucks down the road sometime.

    Question is, anyone with experience have any insight? I know the job will probably suck but I worked construction before I joined the Marine Corps, how fast can you move up? What are the limits of promotion without a degree? Is the money worth the job? I have no kids, Im not married, I have no obligations, so working two weeks on two weeks off really isn't an issue.

    Any advice/input would be appreciated.
     
  2. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I've never worked on a rig, but way back in the day, I worked on an oil exploration boat in the Gulf, one that towed a cable, set off charges, and used the seismic waves to look for oil and gas. Ironically enough, I took a break from going to school to do it, because the money was so good. The reason I mention it is that I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. There's something about being out there on the water, especially at night, that appealed to me. Yes, a rig would be a lot different, a lot noisier, for one thing, but the work, while hard, was satisfying. I didn't stay with it because of school and some other things (like girls... they like the money you have to spend on them, but not that you're gone for weeks at a time), but I still remember leaning against the rail late at night, staring at distant lights and a million stars.

    What have you got to lose? If you don't like it, you can still take the option of going to college, and you just might like it. Good luck!

    And I almost forgot. Thanks for your service. It's very much appreciated. :)-
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. pmac

    pmac Contributing Member

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    Working as a rig hand is one of the most dangerous jobs you can have so you will be compensated fairly well for it considering you don't have a degree. If you eventually get on with a major operator and work your way up to being a consultant or superintendent you would make enough money to make most of the college educated folks on this BBS blush. So, money should not be a major determining factor here for you.

    You need to consider the fact that you will have a similar on/off schedule for your entire career if you work in drilling. So, if/when you have a family you won't be with them half the time. Also, this industry goes through cycles. If you're working at a refinery or production facility this isn't nearly as big of an issue. But, if the market is bad and the operating company starts dropping rigs then people will be laid off.
     
  4. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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    My brother works for Hercules offshore. He's 27yo, a Derrickhad and makes around 70K for roughly six months of work. Let me tell ya it's very physical, he's two on two off. Benefits are great with Hercules they have safety point systems wich you can use to get stuff. He got a Movado watch for like $40. He's been there for about a year and a half but from what he tells me the being gone for two weeks is getting old. he moved up quick but he's also very determined and a hard worker. If you're young it's good to do for a few years and stack paper but I wouldn't make it a career unless you ca become a rig coordinator.
     
  5. tmoney1101

    tmoney1101 Contributing Member

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    i've got a job on a rig your mom might want to apply for, experience required.
     
  6. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    Do it for a couple years then apply for wellsite leader training programs at the big O&Gs. It's a 15 month training course and afterwards you'll be making quite a bit of money. And if you've got rig work experience, a bachelors, and some military experience, you'll have no trouble getting accepted into the program.

    ::EDIT::

    Didn't really read the OP; didn't know he doesn't already have a bachelor's. As such, disregard advice. Get the degree first because even though it's just a load of crap, a lot of people put meaning into it. So if you want to advance at all from a rig hand (and you will), you'll need that degree.
     
    #7 Haymitch, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  7. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    Since school is paid for, and housing is paid for, you should finish your degree. I don't usually push that, but damn, don't flush such an opportunity down the toilet. It will give you something to fall back on.

    And if you go into the field in oil and gas, you're going to want that once you hit your mid-30s (or possibly earlier), because your body will start to tell you that you should have taken a lighter career path.
     
  8. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    That's excellent advice. Some folks don't feel like they're cut out for academia, though. The oil and gas industry is one of the few areas when a non-degreed person can make a good middle to upper-middle class living. I do agree with you that he should bite the bullet and get the degree. He'll end up wishing he had someday, more than likely. And the point made earlier that when there's a downturn, you're out of luck and on the beach, is a very good one.
     
  9. JD88

    JD88 Member

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    Appreciate all the good feedback. I have a 3.3 GPA, and thats skipping half my classes, I just feel like school isn't for me.

    Good points about the schedule being a forever type of thing, and also good point about my body breaking down sooner or later, neither point had come to my mind as of yet.

    It's a tough decision, as it stands now if I take the job I would still be able to use my GI bill to do online courses, and that pays me right around $1080 a month, so an extra $13,000 a year. Im guessing it would be a hard life working a rig and trying to pass classes at the same time.

    Thanks fellas.
     
  10. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
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    this^ the G.I bill is a great opportunity not worth throwing away, the tides can change at any given moment.

    That being said, do what makes you happy, I enjoyed reading the posts in this thread considering that I have pondered upon what my future looks like for a while.
     
  11. Chopped

    Chopped Member

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    im an engineer for a major oil and gas company in the Houston area. on top of my salary my company gives a day rate of $200 for each day on a rig. even with that i refuse to get the certs that will allow me to go, it is NOT fun. Too many horror stories.
     
  12. fba34

    fba34 Contributing Member

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    O&G for 5+ years now. Rigs both onshore and offshore in middle east and now south east Asia. Took the job just as an excuse to travel to middle east (which I wouldnt pay my own money to travel to).

    Its easy to move up if youre hard working, a good people person who can mix with everyone on the rig and if you can suck up a bit (Co men, tool pushers and OIMs are just that way).

    I second what Deckard mentioned, there is something about being in the middle of the ocean staring off the distant.

    Working on the rig floor will be noisy sometimes, but you'll adjust with ear plugs. The living accomodations on most rigs nowadays are very good. youll definitely get a good night sleep after a days work everynight.
     
  13. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Don't dismiss higher education so easily. You might not care about what a philosopher said 200 years ago but reading and writing papers on it expands your writing and reading comprehension a skill you haven't honed in while in the Corps. My macroeconomics professor told our class that receiving a bachelors degree is like receiving a high school degree 30 years ago. If you want to stay competitive in the job market a degree is almost necessary.
     
  14. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    If you feel like you are not being challenged enough take harder classes or transfer to a better school. If you are attending a community college then that should explain why. I had the same problem after I left the Corps. I spent my first two semesters at a community college. Didn't feel challenged. Spent only a couple hours a week on hw and now I'm attending University of Massachusetts Amherst. Though it isn't an Ivy League school its a world of a difference from community college, and its free so no harm done.
     
  15. gnozahs

    gnozahs Member

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    That's the mindset I take when I think about all the GE classes that I have to take for my engineering degree. It gives me a broader education instead of just learning "engineering."
     
  16. JD88

    JD88 Member

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    Good point. I scored a 24 on my ACT my sophomore year of high school, but yes I do attend Lonestar College. Thanks for the advice.
     
  17. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Yup... you are not wasting time if you are reading college level material and writing papers on them. Your mind needs exercise also.
     
  18. JD88

    JD88 Member

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    Do you think its feasible to take online classes and work the rig at the same time? Obviously while I'm on I won't be doing much homework, but off I could always make time for that sort of thing.
     
  19. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    btw if you are receiving solid grades at your community college transfering to a good 4 year school should be easier than you think as a veteran. Most college selection boards value honorable military service so high that they don't even bother looking at your high school grades and SAT/ACT scores. I know a buddy of mine who served with me who applied to Northeastern University after 3 semesters with a 3.5 gpa at a community college and was accepted. He couldn't go though:( because its a private school and he didn't get a yellow ribbon slot so he would have had to pay out the ass.
     
    #20 fchowd0311, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

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