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Thread: Oil rig electrician wages

  1. #1
    electro is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Oil rig electrician wages

    I recently met a chief engineer working for Transocean who told me that an electrician working on an oil rig can expect to make around 150k a year. Is it true or just an entertaining sea story?
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    tengineer is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    True once you're chief electrician working int'l. I've got an old pay schedule and the pay scale in 2009 was:

    Average monthly gross:

    Electrician $8634
    Chief Elec. $9907
    Elec. Supervisor $11,099
    Electronics guys make the same.
    Add 25% on to the above for int'l. I THINK they got about a 3- 5% pay raise since the above figures.

    Hope this helps.
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    electro is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Thank you for the info. But their website says that the rotation is 28/28 that only makes it about 70+ a year. Not unless they work 6 month and get paid for 12.
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    tengineer is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    It's the big leagues, you get paid 12 months a year.
    Work schedule is 28/28 int'l and 14/14 domestic last I heard.
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    electro is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Thank's a lot Tengineer. That's is very impressive. Makes SIU wages look like s++t.
    Any idea how hard is it to get a job with them?
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    Capt. Lee is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    For an electrician it should not be hard at all. That is one of the positions they are always looking for.
    There are those who can and there are those who will, which one will you be today?
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    electro is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Thank you very much guys for this information.
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    Brad D is offline gCaptain Crew Greenhorn
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Hey guys, I am new to the forum and on my way to becoming a Merchant Marine (just waiting to get my z card and TWIC back). I was a comercial electrician for ten years and worked on some of the more complicated aspects of the industry (I wasn't just hanging lights). I made the mistake of trying to start a business (not electrically related) at the same time the economy took a shit, so I'm ready to move on from that. I was wondering how "transferable" things were. Does any of the time from my 10 year electrical career count towards my ratings at sea? I did a five year apprenticeship and have many other industry certifications after that. I mean, I'm sure some of the instalation standards and practices are different, but the "physics" of electricity don't change... Can I test out on some of the certifications? Any idea how long it would take me to be able to get a job with one of the "big leage" companies making the kind of money mentioned above? Thanks in advance for any helpful responses, I'm trying to figure out the ins and outs of this very convoluted industry!

    -Brad
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    cmakin is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad D View Post
    Hey guys, I am new to the forum and on my way to becoming a Merchant Marine (just waiting to get my z card and TWIC back). I was a comercial electrician for ten years and worked on some of the more complicated aspects of the industry (I wasn't just hanging lights). I made the mistake of trying to start a business (not electrically related) at the same time the economy took a shit, so I'm ready to move on from that. I was wondering how "transferable" things were. Does any of the time from my 10 year electrical career count towards my ratings at sea? I did a five year apprenticeship and have many other industry certifications after that. I mean, I'm sure some of the instalation standards and practices are different, but the "physics" of electricity don't change... Can I test out on some of the certifications? Any idea how long it would take me to be able to get a job with one of the "big leage" companies making the kind of money mentioned above? Thanks in advance for any helpful responses, I'm trying to figure out the ins and outs of this very convoluted industry!

    -Brad

    Well, first off, you won't be a Merchant Marine, but a merchant mariner. I do believe that you will also have to gain some sea time as an oiler/wiper before you make the step up to electrician. I am sure that others will chime in since much has changed in getting documentation these days.
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    Brad D is offline gCaptain Crew Greenhorn
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Quote Originally Posted by cmakin View Post
    Well, first off, you won't be a Merchant Marine, but a merchant mariner. I do believe that you will also have to gain some sea time as an oiler/wiper before you make the step up to electrician. I am sure that others will chime in since much has changed in getting documentation these days.
    Thanks for the clarification! From what I've read so far, the impression that I have is that I need 180 days sea time before I can test for my QMED and I'd obviously choose the Electrical endorsement. Is this correct? What about the STCW? If I take the basic safety class myself would that be enough to get me on a rig? If I were working on a Tug, would the seatime transfer to the rig? Or would I have to get a job on a larger vessel so that the sea time would be transferable? Sorry to ask all the noob questions, but I figured the thread was about over and I'm trying to figure things out. For an outsider trying to break in, it's all VERY confusing. Thanks again.

    -Brad
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    Steamer is online now Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    You might find it more productive and better for your reputation to enter the industry by finding a job as an electrician at a shipyard. That way you can learn the differences between shoreside and marine electrical installations. The job of a marine electrician is more like that of an industrial electrician and deals with motors, starters, instrumentation, switchboards, generators, controls, and involves a great deal of troubleshooting. It is not easily picked up on the job and with reduced manning you will be all alone with the problems and there isn't much tolerance for those who need to learn after the lights go out.
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    cmakin is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Oil rig electrician wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad D View Post
    Thanks for the clarification! From what I've read so far, the impression that I have is that I need 180 days sea time before I can test for my QMED and I'd obviously choose the Electrical endorsement. Is this correct? What about the STCW? If I take the basic safety class myself would that be enough to get me on a rig? If I were working on a Tug, would the seatime transfer to the rig? Or would I have to get a job on a larger vessel so that the sea time would be transferable? Sorry to ask all the noob questions, but I figured the thread was about over and I'm trying to figure things out. For an outsider trying to break in, it's all VERY confusing. Thanks again.

    -Brad
    I am not sure about the rig requirements, since I do believe that the only required Z cards are for AB's. Now, that may be different with the DP rigs. I can say that I have never sailed on a tug with an electrician. In fact, many only have one person in the engine department. It was that way when I sailed for Crowley, and I don't imagine that their towing vessels are crewed any differently now. I don't do much work on US flag vessels, but I know on foreign ships there are almost no electricians as a rating. Most of the electrical work is done by the engineers or unlicensed ratings; or they fly out a technician. It IS a hard business to break into. Probably more difficult than opening a business. You may want to contact the drilling companies directly and see what their requirements are.
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