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Many little boys dream of becoming firefighters when they grow up, and if they grow up in Texas, they may even dream about becoming oil well firefighters. Oil well fires are rare, so oil well firefighting is not as common as regular firefighting. But when oil wells blow out, the consequences can be severe and putting the resulting fires out can be immensely challenging.
Research Oil Well Firefighting
Decide if you are ready to become an oil well firefighter by researching the oil field industry. Read the biography of the late Paul Neal "Red" Adair, the most famous oil well firefighter. Two other suggested readings about the oil industry are "The Nontechnical Guide to Petroleum Geology, Exploration, Drilling and Production," and "A Primer of Oil Well Drilling."
Choose if you want to work on a land or offshore oil rig, then research the different oil field companies and decide which one you'd like to work for as an oil well firefighter. Find out as much as you can about your chosen company, including required experience, salary and benefits. Filling yourself with knowledge about the company will help you in your quest to become an oil well firefighter.
Plan on moving if you don't already live in a an oil-drilling state such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico or Alaska. Once you gain more experience as an oil well firefighter, you can even start looking for work overseas. If you don't want to leave your home state, and it's not near an oil field, then oil well firefighting may not be for you.
Become an Educated Firefighter
Apply to a firefighting academy, such as the Recruit Fire Training Academy at the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) in College Station, Texas. You will have to attend a regular firefighting school since there is not an actual oil well firefighting academy.
Enroll in the 12-week training program and excel in all the hands-on and classroom exercises. Be sure to take the specialized courses TEEX offers in hazardous materials, industrial firefighting and oil spill response.
Graduate from TEEX and start searching for a job as an oil well firefighter.
Find an Oil Well Firefighter Job
Call the oilfield company you'd like to work for to inquire about an open position as an oil well firefighter. If there aren't any vacancies, continue your job search until an opening occurs.
Search your local newspaper or the online version of your local newspaper for an oil well firefighting position. If you don't find any openings in the classified section, don't get discouraged.
Pick up the phone and call around to different oil field companies to inquire about vacancies. If there isn't an opening for an oil well firefighter, you may consider accepting an entry-level position to get your foot in the door.
If you have military experience as a firefighter or working with explosives, you don't have to attend a firefighting academy. Oil field companies like to hire military veterans since they're already educated, trained, knowledgeable and ready to start working on the oil field.
- oil well at dusk image by Calin Tatu from Fotolia.com