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What Are the Duties of an Oiler?

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Oilers primarily work on large ships and in industrial settings. Although oilers are not required to have extensive experience or education, a high school diploma and/or some work experience as an oiler are helpful in securing employment. An oiler plays a vital role in assisting the engineering department in maintaining mechanical equipment.


The primary function of an oiler is to apply lubricants to the various parts of a machine to keep it working properly. Some oilers may also handle other maintenance duties that involve adjusting and inspecting mechanical equipment.


Oilers have certain responsibilities, depending on the type of environment in which they work. Oilers that work on large ships often assist engineers in maintaining the machinery of the entire vessel including handling the fueling process and ensuring that all mechanical systems or engines are working properly by measuring the water and temperature readings. They also assist in the general maintenance and repair of the mechanical systems to keep the ship safe and clean. Oilers that work in industrial settings focus on inspecting, adjusting, lubricating and identifying mechanical issues with the machines or equipment they are oversee.

Administrative Tasks

Oilers may also handle some administrative tasks in addition to their maintenance and inspection duties. Oilers are responsible for keeping accurate records of their inspections, measurements and maintenance activities.