How to Become a Safety Officer on Oil Rigs: Qualifications, Training & Salary

Safety officers on oil rigs are responsible for the health and safety of the staff who work on oil platforms. Research and learn about the requirements for becoming an oil rig safety officer to see if this career could be for you. Schools offering Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Workers on oil rigs often face more hazards and risks than employees in many other occupations. Safety officers are important for preventing accidents and even death caused by occupational hazards. The table below provides the key details of the requirements, salary and job outlook for this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Occupational health and safety, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry
Certification and Licensure Certification voluntary
Key Responsibilities Suspend hazardous activities, investigate accidents, recommend safe procedures, inspect work environment and equipment, provide safety training, collect samples of hazardous substances, write reports
Average Salary (2017) $90,320 (occupational health and safety specialists for the oil and gas extraction industry)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% (all occupational health and safety specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do Safety Officers on Oil Rigs Do?

An oil rig is a large structure that allows exploration, extraction and processing of petroleum and natural gas that lie far beneath the earth's surface. A safety officer will maintain the safety of an oil rig by assessing the current work conditions comply with the Health and Safety Environment (HSE) rules and regulations. Their daily activities may include inspections of work on the oil rig, carrying out investigations of issues regarding safety, performing audits and suggesting initiatives to improve the safety of staff. As a safety officer you can work off-shore or on-shore apparatus, with opportunities all over the world.

How Do I Become a Safety Officer on an Oil Rig?

In order to become a safety officer on an oil rig you will typically need a bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety or a related field like engineering, biology, or chemistry. Some employers request a master's degree in a relevant program. You will likely receive on-the-job training to learn the role and activities of a safety officer on an oil rig. Certification is voluntary, but often preferred by employers. The board of certified safety professionals offer a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification that is often desired by employers.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need to Become a Safety Officer on Oil Rigs?

Safety officers are expected to have knowledge of relevant laws, policies, procedures, and regulations that are concerned with the company with whom they are employed. You will need to have good written and verbal communication in order to write reports when required, and communicate current laws and regulations with staff. You will need to have project management skills, attention for detail and good problem solving skills in order to follow rigorous regulations and provide solutions that protect employees from hazards. You will need to act as a role model for all other employees on how to work safely.

How Much Do Safety Officers on Oil Rigs Earn?

The BLS reported that in May 2017, occupational health and safety specialists in the oil and gas extraction industry earned an average salary of $90,320 annually. These specialists earned far greater than most occupational health and safety specialists, who earned an average of of $73,600 annually in 2017. As a safety officer on an oil rig you may be expected to work weekends and long hours in the case an emergency situation arises.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Safety Officer on Oil Rigs?

According to the BLS, occupational health and safety specialists and technicians will see a projected growth of 8% between 2016 and 2026. There will be an approximate 8,600 jobs that will be added to the job market by 2026. During the same time period companies and insurance companies will become more concerned over insurance and employee costs and will require more specialists to reduce occupational hazards and risks.

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