How Challenging Are Oil Field Jobs?

The oil and gas industry is one of the largest known sectors across the globe. It is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy with thousands of workers applying for jobs every year. The global recession has hit everyone, which is why people are looking for jobs that pay a higher salary without thinking of the challenges they have to face.

There is no doubt that the oil and gas workers are paid a higher salary, especially the workers who are working in the fields. But then what is life without challenges? There is no career which is cozy and comfortable. To achieve something, you will always have to come out of your comfort zone and push your limits. Only then will you be able to identify your weaknesses and strengths.

The idea of a successful career often comes with a nine-to-five job, but that is not how it is in the real world. You may not get a handsome paying job in your comfort which is why if you want to dwell in your life and career, risks and rewards will be a part and parcel.

People who want to be paid higher often take challenging jobs and one of them is the oil field jobs. Let’s begin with understanding what oil field jobs are.

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Oil Field Jobs


Oil field jobs cover a huge range of professions that work in an offshore drilling platform or rig or an oil field. There are all kinds of jobs in an oil field from lower-level to upper-level jobs such as

a platform chief and a rig manager. Lower-level jobs include floorman, roughneck and roustabout.

For the oil field jobs, the work may be simple like cleaning and inspecting pipes, helping in rigging up and down complicated drilling rigs, operating power tools to perform repair and maintenance tasks and being part of the drilling crew.

Oil field jobs are supposed to be one of the best ways to earn good money with no experience required which is why so many people want to be a part of the oil and gas industry. In most cases, companies actually pay for the training. This means that people who have no money for education can actually make a career in this field and avoid taking loans. Many companies hire specialized employment agencies like to recruit oilfield workers for them. These agencies have hundreds of workers who want to get employed in the oil and gas sector.

Workers enter the sector usually as a drilling deck worker or floor hand in an offshore oilfield. Mostly these workers are required to have basic skills for practical tasks.

Challenges of Oil Field Jobs

One of the reasons for the high pay of oil field jobs is the difficult working conditions workers have to go through. Often workers have 14/21 shifts which mean they have to for fourteen days straight and then they have 21 days off. The 14 days may include night shifts as well. These 14 days may have to be on the sea sometimes which may not be a very pleasant experience for many.

Moreover, oil field jobs have the highest rates of fatalities and injuries in the world. Oil field jobs are therefore considered to be very challenging. Some of the challenges faced by oil field jobs are as follows:

1. Fires


Oil field workers often have to undergo fires which is an obvious hazard and is one of the most common causes of death for oil field workers. Petroleum is known for its combustible properties and when it is combined with other hazardous chemicals it becomes more dangerous. One of the chemicals with which it is commonly mixed is hydrogen sulfide.

Fires in the oil fields are more devastating than regular fire accidents as they usually begin with an explosion that ends with a fire that is fed by chemicals. These fires are hard to extinguish which is why workers are not saved.

2. Fatigue

Fatigue is a common challenge faced by oil field workers as it may require workers to work rigorously. Oil field workers not only require physical labor but also long hours. On average an oil field worker may exceed an 8 hour shift for 7 to 14 days in a row. This can cause fatigue in most workers as they are dealing with heavy equipment and machinery without getting a break.

Fatigue kills many workers as they are likely to cause more accidents. Sometimes when they are driving back home tired they fall into deadly accidents because of fatigue.

3. Machinery


Oil field jobs consist of jobs that need workers to use heavy equipment which includes cranes, pipes, drills, forklifts etc. In oil fields, sometimes the machinery is not in proper condition which means there is a risk of malfunction and employees can get hurt. Proper machinery means that employees can use it properly while performing their job safely. In oil field jobs, lives are at risk even by a small amount of maintenance negligence.

Employees at oil fields have to be very careful and alert while handling machinery and with the amount of fatigue and tiredness accidents happen. This is the biggest challenge for oil field workers.

4. Falls

Most of the oil field workers face death due to falls on the field. There is a lot of hazardous material on the floor of an oil field including tools. Oil field workers in most cases often encounter danger due to such unexpected objects which is why fatal accidents happen. Workers are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for themselves and have strict protocols which they are unable to do with all the work pressure and fatigue.

Apart from these four, there are other challenges as well but these four are the biggest challenges that cause fatal injuries. Other challenges include; drowning, burns, back injury, being struck by debris etc.


Oil Field jobs are challenging but with risks come great benefits. People across the world choose oil field jobs even though they are challenging because of the perks they get out of this sector. The oil and gas industry offers jobs to workers with great incentives which is why people are willing to work in oil fields.