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MartinF

Original Poster:

557 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
I've been harbouring the idea of working offshore for a while now but haven't really had the time to check it out extensively.

I therefore decided to ask you, the PH knowledge-base, what it's all about.

Basically, I'm not an electrician, nor have I ever been much for DIY. I don't have a trade, nor am I an IT expert. Not looking good is it?

A few questions then......

1. What the bloody hell could I do? I currently earn £35-40k a year thanks to working a million hours a week and having not taken a holiday for 18 months, so would like a similar amount with a bit more 'me' time.

2. I'm also a bit worried reading about various helicopter crashes in the North/Irish Seas, am I being ridiculous?

If anyone here can help me with any advice you deem useful that would be welcomed greatly.

Having just re-read this I probably sound like I want everything for nothing. I am, in fact, a hard working chap who wants a change of scenery biggrin

chrisj_abz

807 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
theres a few jobs you can do offshore without having a trade as such behind you. things like catering/stewarding or if you dont mind a bit of manual labour, working on the drilling side of things

as for the helicopters, in the 10+ years ive been offshore ive never even had an emergency in a chopper, few bumpy flights and landings but its in reality a very safe form of transport.

theres a bit more risk being on a rig/platform however, ive lost a couple mates due to a particularly bad gas leak and have had a couple bad ones when ive been onboard but there is a multitude of safety systems and procedures to minimise that.

Its a great life, the time off is brilliant but its not for everyone, some folk just cant handle it.

MartinF

Original Poster:

557 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
If you don't mind me asking Chris, what do you do yourself?

I'm not shy of a bit of manual labour, even if I've 'enjoyed' air-conditioned showrooms for my working years.

Can I ask as well what sort of life do you have whilst on the rigs? Much to do?

chrisj_abz

807 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
currently I work in ROV's (remotely operated vehicles) basically underwater remote controlled robots, yes it can be as interesting as it sounds! most of my work is on ships now though i used to work as a production tech on a Shell platform, basically looking after the oil and gas processing, power generation as well as utilities.

Theres usually plenty to do, most rigs have tv rooms and satellite tv, almost all have a gym, usually a pool table/dart board/table tennis. We used to have regular quiz nights, poker nights etc to give you something to do offshift.

Edited by chrisj_abz on Tuesday 5th January 21:48

MartinF

Original Poster:

557 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
thumbup

Sounds awesome.

Time to get googling.......
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mrdelmonti

1,391 posts

67 months

[news] 
Tuesday 5th January 2010 quote quote all
Going offshore is something I've been looking at doing but with no relevant qualifications it does seem to be rather difficult to get into without already knowing people.

Rob13

3,901 posts

110 months

[news] 
Wednesday 6th January 2010 quote quote all
I've considered it too. I've got a Geology degree but other than police work, not much else! Anything I can do?

b3kaw

336 posts

64 months

[news] 
Wednesday 6th January 2010 quote quote all
i've also thought about it, but wouldn't know where to start looking for vacancies and qualifications??

SFMXKR

525 posts

71 months

[news] 
Wednesday 6th January 2010 quote quote all
Get a medical and survival BOSET (Basic Offshore Survival and Emergency Training, look up RGIT Altens, Aberdeen) and send your cv to service companies like ESS or Sodexo (spelling).


All the best...

Paddy_N_Murphy

16,200 posts

70 months

[news] 
Wednesday 6th January 2010 quote quote all
Rob13 said:
I've considered it too. I've got a Geology degree but other than police work, not much else! Anything I can do?
scratchchin


Geology?
Mudlogger IIRC on a drill rig is an option and well paid post.
(fairly stty existence in the mire but hey ho)

Steve996

1,171 posts

101 months

[news] 
Wednesday 6th January 2010 quote quote all
Unfortunately its quite difficult without a trade or some form of engineering qualification behind you. There are some options though which vary a bit depending upon your age however none are particularly glamorous if I'm honest and quite often to get a toe-in you'd have to go ad-hoc which basically means being on the end of the phone to come out at short notice with variable length trips and variable periods between your trips i.e. not really steady work.

I personally wouldn't advocate just paying yourself through a survival course until you've got some idea of what you'd like to do. It is a wee bit of an old wife's tale that you'll get a start just because you've got those tickets as most reputable companies have no qualms about putting someone through these standard courses anyway and in the greater scheme of things they cost next to bugger all. It might be a strategy if you're pitching for start with one of the industrial cleaning firms or possibly within the drilling domain but doesn't make a whit of difference in the operations and maintenance arena (my background).

The kind of options open to you are;
- As per previous poster who recommended ESS/US etc - catering i.e. steward etc.
- A late entry apprenticeship http://www.opito.com/index.php?option=com_content&... they do take folks into their early 20's or so now, not sure how old you are.
- Drilling or well ops training scheme with a company like expro http://careers.exprogroup.com/content/2/careers-ho... I know in the past Expro have taken on career changers and trained them up as wireline ops etc. The drilling side in the UKCS at the moment isn't exactly buzzing so opportunities in the drilling/wells side may be few and far between in the North Sea, especially for someone with no relevant experience. If things turn a bit in the next 6 months then there may be more aggressive recruitment from that side of the business again and they generally do open their doors for the bottom feed-in positions.
- Service company such as RBG http://www.rbgltd.com/index.asp?id=1&refID=4&a... I know they take on a bunch of specialist cleaning operative trainees each year and give them all their basic training and then you basically wait for the phone call from them when they have an ad-hoc slot that needs to be filled.
- You could pay yourself through the following course http://www.opito.com/index.php?option=com_content&... completion of this coupled with a good interview would stand some chance of getting into an ad-hoc operations role but if I'm honest with no relevant experience you would be lucky if this strategy worked for you but it could do if someone was looking for some fresh blood from outside the industry. We recruited in a bunch of guys from onshore petrochem a few years back who did have relevant operations experience but no offshore oil and gas experience as part of a pre-planned "fresh blood" strategy and it worked well.

A little more info about what you do just now could maybe help provide a bit more targeted guidance but the above is probs the best general guidance I could give you.

I wouldn't be too paranoid about the helicopters. They really are a very safe means of transport but as with most air crashes when something does go wrong very infrequently it is quite rightly very public and widely covered in the media. You genuinely do have more chance of necking yourself when you climb into your car than you do meeting your maker in a chopper accident.

Edit - Just looked in your profile and noted you have a sales background. One option could be to try to get an onshore sales job in an oil and gas/engineering related company, that could possibly act as a bridge allowing you to build an understanding of the industry whilst still in your comfort zone and also build some contacts who may give you a start further down the road.


Edited by Steve996 on Wednesday 6th January 22:51


Edited by Steve996 on Friday 8th January 22:11

Gazzas86

1,099 posts

57 months

[news] 
Friday 8th January 2010 quote quote all
I would be looking to work offshore after i've completing 12 years in the Royal Navy. Would be 30 when i leave. I'm a Weapon Engineer and have been for all my career in the RN. I've been in charge for Maintaining and fixing all the Radars on ship, as well as comms systems on the ship in on now. I've got loads of qualifications e.g. Foundation Degree in Electronic Engineering, Level 5 CMI Engineering and Management etc etc (have a folder full of them). I've just never really known who to speak to about getting into this trade.

Steve996

1,171 posts

101 months

[news] 
Friday 8th January 2010 quote quote all
Gazzas86 said:
I would be looking to work offshore after i've completing 12 years in the Royal Navy. Would be 30 when i leave. I'm a Weapon Engineer and have been for all my career in the RN. I've been in charge for Maintaining and fixing all the Radars on ship, as well as comms systems on the ship in on now. I've got loads of qualifications e.g. Foundation Degree in Electronic Engineering, Level 5 CMI Engineering and Management etc etc (have a folder full of them). I've just never really known who to speak to about getting into this trade.
A well trodden path from Navy into offshore. Lot's of my colleagues over the years have come in from the services and obviously the navy in particular has some marine parallels in terms of work environment.

From what you say your quals and experience would position you well for a telecomms role offshore within the offshore maintenance team. Other options for you would include just about any electronics-based service company role for someone such as Schlumberger or Baker Oil Tools. Have met a few ex military electronics folk in the metering (fiscal measurement) side of the business also, companies such as Metco, SGS Redwood etc are larger players in this field. I'd advise putting together a CV in the 1st instance and get it up into the main contractor companies such as Wood Group, AKER, AMEC, Petrofac, PSN etc stating that you are seeking a core telecomms role upon your exit from the military. You may not get any bites straight away as these companies generally have to wait until one of their clients have a vacancy before they interview candidates.

When do intend to exit as I have a telecomms tech nearing retirement age on one of my sites?

Edited by Steve996 on Friday 8th January 21:09

Mattt

15,664 posts

104 months

[news] 
Friday 8th January 2010 quote quote all
Well I'd imagine there's no shortage of opportunities for a decent M&E/E&I engineer!

Gazzas86

1,099 posts

57 months

[news] 
Friday 8th January 2010 quote quote all
Steve996 said:
Gazzas86 said:
I would be looking to work offshore after i've completing 12 years in the Royal Navy. Would be 30 when i leave. I'm a Weapon Engineer and have been for all my career in the RN. I've been in charge for Maintaining and fixing all the Radars on ship, as well as comms systems on the ship in on now. I've got loads of qualifications e.g. Foundation Degree in Electronic Engineering, Level 5 CMI Engineering and Management etc etc (have a folder full of them). I've just never really known who to speak to about getting into this trade.
A well trodden path from Navy into offshore. Lot's of my colleagues over the years have come in from the services and obviously the navy in particular has some marine parallels in terms of work environment.

From what you say your quals and experience would position you well for a telecomms role offshore within the offshore maintenance team. Other options for you would include just about any electronics-based service company role for someone such as Schlumberger or Baker Oil Tools. Have met a few ex military electronics folk in the metering (fiscal measurement) side of the business also, companies such as Metco, SGS Redwood etc are larger players in this field. I'd advise putting together a CV in the 1st instance and get it up into the main contractor companies such as Wood Group, AKER, AMEC, Petrofac, PSN etc stating that you are seeking a core telecomms role upon your exit from the military. You may not get any bites straight away as these companies generally have to wait until one of their clients have a vacancy before they interview candidates.

When do intend to exit as I have a telecomms tech nearing retirement age on one of my sites?

Edited by Steve996 on Friday 8th January 21:09
Thanks for the info Steve,
Alot of company/groups there. I'd intend to leave in 4 years (with 1 year notice), i know; probably a long way away however recently these years have flown by so quickly and i like to know my options early and you've certainly given me an insight. thanks. Have you heard of a company called SonSub??, a family friend is a team leader (manager) and works 5 on 5 off. I know he offered a spot in the future which was good. Whats the starting wage for telecomms role?, i know (especially for me) its not all about the money however i would like to know i wouldn't be getting a drop in pay.

Regards

Steve996

1,171 posts

101 months

[news] 
Friday 8th January 2010 quote quote all
Yup I've heard of SonSub, they are a subsea construction/ROV services outfit. Never done any work with them over the years that I can recall though.

4 years away is too far away for the role I had in mind but these positions do crop-up from time to time so it would be worth cobbling together a CV certainly during your last year and getting them out to the contracting outfits. You can PM me nearer the time too if you want and presuming I'm still doing something along the lines that I'm currently doing I'll have a look around our sites for vacancies for you (we've got 11 operating sites in the UKCS). Base tech money is about the 50K mark and current rotation is 2 on 3 off.

Gazzas86

1,099 posts

57 months

[news] 
Saturday 9th January 2010 quote quote all
Cheers for the advice Steve, I'll be taking all you've said on-board. Like you said, in a few years our paths may cross.

Regards

raf_gti

3,169 posts

92 months

[news] 
Saturday 9th January 2010 quote quote all
chrisj_abz said:
currently I work in ROV's (remotely operated vehicles) basically underwater remote controlled robots, yes it can be as interesting as it sounds! most of my work is on ships now though i used to work as a production tech on a Shell platform, basically looking after the oil and gas processing, power generation as well as utilities.

Theres usually plenty to do, most rigs have tv rooms and satellite tv, almost all have a gym, usually a pool table/dart board/table tennis. We used to have regular quiz nights, poker nights etc to give you something to do offshift.

Edited by chrisj_abz on Tuesday 5th January 21:48
Chris

Can you tell me a bit more about working on ROV's?

I understand that my trade (Electronics Tech) is ideally suited towards the job but I can't find anything about the day to day job anywhere!

I'm seriously considering going down that path when I leave the RAF, I've just got to decide if I want to carry on having a job that involves being away from home a great deal.

Where is the bulk of your work carried out? Is it the North Sea or do you venture further afield?

Ta

Steve

528Sport

882 posts

120 months

[news] 
Tuesday 12th January 2010 quote quote all
Steve996 I have sent you a PM
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