If you're an oilfield worker looking for a big boost in pay, consider working overseas. Salaries for overseas oilfield workers are traditionally higher than for working on a U.S. based rig. Here is how you might get started working overseas. Traditionally salaries for oilfield workers working overseas have been as much as 30 percent to 50 percent higher than those paid their domestic counterparts. In part, you are paid a higher salary for the danger factor (of some countries) but mainly for the fact that you are gone from home so much. In some instances while working in the oilfield overseas you can reap taxation benefits by showing your domicile to be in a foreign country if you spend most of the year there and can avoid paying U.S. taxes.
Start by learning about the industry. If you are new to the oil and gas industry you may have to work a few years in the domestic drilling industry before you will have enough experience to work overseas. For those with roughneck experience, it is a plus to have worked in the Gulf of Mexico since much of overseas work is offshore. For operators, knowledge of top drive rigs is a must and having experience working on higher end rigs with automation is helpful. Put together a good resume with a list of all the types of rigs you have worked on. Drillers will find the most work since many of the roughneck jobs are filled "in country."
Obtain as much experience as you can and document this for your resume. For current employees of service companies dealing in specialized services, such as synthetic drilling fluids, solids disposal, mudlogging, MWD and fishing tools, there are many opportunities for overseas work for the highly skilled. A good resume is important for service hands as well. List all the specializations and certifications that you have and try to gain more with an eye toward eventually working on a drilling rig overseas.
Learn a foreign language. Most overseas drilling rig crews will speak English, but you can increase your job opportunities if you speak a foreign language common to areas where oil and gas drilling jobs are available. Spanish is necessary if you are considering an oilfield job in Latin America. For overseas oilfield jobs, networking is helpful. Make it known to your manager that while you are happy doing what you are doing, you would love an opportunity to work overseas. Keep an eye on sites such as Rigzone.com for overseas job postings, network with other oilfield workers that you know and make a good quality resume that you send off to as many companies as you can. Don't give up or worry that you are being a nuisance by contacting different companies, even those that don't have any job postings.
Make sure your passport is current. Get one if you don't have one. If you have insurance, get as many of the immunizations you will need ahead of time. This includes hepatitis, polio and tuberculosis. Indicate on your resume that you have a current passport and immunizations and are ready to leave now.
Find a good resume writer if you need assistance.
Be drug free. All companies test on hiring and test routinely on the job. Hair sampling is now being used by some major companies.