How to become a Derrickman on an Oil Rig
Becoming Derrickman on oil rigs. Getting trained
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The main requirement for a person, who wants to become a Derrickman (sometimes called Derrickhand) on offshore oil rigs, is that the candidate be physically fit, hardy and agile when working at height. As well the fit should demonstrate the ability to easily enough sustain the exposure to some of the extremely hot flows of the heated air he is supposed to work in while on the top of the derrick. It's a fatiguing, physically exhausting job requiring extreme endurance. Be ready to get filthy, while working on the top of derrick, it's also a very dirty job. You will be spending much of time on the "monkey board" - a small platform up the rig's derrick, so you have to be sure you feel OK about climbing and staying at high altitudes.
Normally crew members volunteer to get promoted to the position of a Derrickman after some time of working and proving themselves suitable for the missions of the sort in course of working in one of the entry-level positions on offshore oil rig, such as Roustabout or Roughneck. The other jobs that could offer choice of being advanced to the position of a Derrickman are Motorman or other low end oil rig job that requires being technically proficient. Taking over the position of Derrickman requires going through the supervised apprenticeship and working for sufficiently extended period of time under the supervision before being admitted to work at your own responsibility. Derrickman is subordinate and reports directly to the Driller.
Before actually applying for a position of apprentice Derrickman, it could be helpful to pass a number of different safety certifications (such as safety harnessing, first aid certification, Height Safety, dealing with oil and gas emergency situations etc.) Otherwise you could get your certifications in course of your Derrickhand apprenticeship training. The job of Derrickman is one of the most dangerous on the rig, and falling down from the height of up to 25 - 30 meters is not something infrequent. Therefore continuous safety training and certification confirmation is the must, wearing protective clothing and dark sunshades, and also being harnessed while working on heights are mandatory.
After passing the appreticeship successfully and taking over a position of a Derrickman, the responsibilities of someone holding that position will include assisting the Driller to control the drilling fluids and mud system, monitoring some of the processes associated with the drill, verifying drilling equipment upon request of the Driller. But the main fuction of the Derrickman during oil drilling process on the rig consists in controlling and directing the pipes to ensure their proper positionning whilst they are being inserted into the oil well.
Average salary for the position of a Derrickman on offshore oil exploration and extraction facilities is around $US 48,000 - $US 50,000 per year, but can vary from one oil drilling company to other and is dependent on the years of experience as well as the certifications and the clearance being held.
A Derrickman is believed to be positioned high enough within the oil rig hierarchy and enjoys much respect in the team. From among important careerwise personal qualities this position requires the ability to work as a part of team and outstanding co-ordination inclinations. As for the place on oil career ladder, the Derrickman is subordinate to Driller and the Rig Manager, but is superior to Roustabouts, Roughnecks, Motormen and auxhilliary staff. Though better paid than the latter, like the other low end members of the oil drilling crew he works for the most part manually, but has more responsibility and gets exposed to even harsher environment on the open air for long hours, as described above.
General qualifications required from the people looking to work on offshore oil rigs
Basic requirements for your application to be received and your resumé considered by the HR personnel recruiting entry level and professional workers for oil rigs are very simple. You have to be 18 years old or older; you need to be in excellent physical shape, which should be confirmed by the results of medical examination and some physical tests. Drug screening, including criminal background check is mandatory. This pertains to the full extent to Derrickman as well. For the low end employees with the responsibilities and duties in th catering and entry level manual laborers there is no educational requirements at all, while the rest will have to have high school. High end positions, naturally, require college or university degree and different sorts of certifications and admissions.
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