Many offshore jobs require a combination of physical strength and a willingness to work in sometimes dangerous conditions amid a harsh, male-dominated environment. Given the nature of the work, common stereotypes fuel the notion that offshore work is designed for men, but companies in several industries may have an offshore job waiting for you, too, ladies. You simply need to understand the kinds of jobs available, what each requires and how much you can earn.
Offshore Oil Work
Offshore oil companies hire women for rigging ships, which drill for oil, and platforms, where workers extract oil. About 5 percent of offshore oil jobs go to women, indicated "Macleans" magazine in January 2013. Working conditions limit the number of women who apply for offshore oil jobs, however. "Macleans" noted that women share sleeping quarters with men, and bathrooms and amenities cater more to a male workforce. Roughnecks assist crews with drilling operations, and roustabouts perform general labor and maintenance work. Companies often assign women to work as chefs, dishwashers and cooks and in housekeeping as stewards, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Offshore Oil Job Market
Job openings in the offshore oil industry have exploded in recent years due to an increase in the number of rigs, reports Reuters, and industry recruiters expected companies to add 11,000 jobs in 2013 to bring the industry total to approximately 117,000. Reuters reported that many jobs send workers to the Gulf of Mexico, but drilling has also increased in waters near Brazil and China. The growing demand for workers has caused salaries to rise. Roustabouts earn approximately $18 to $20 per hour, and roughnecks earn approximately $28 per hour, Reuters said. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers states that housekeeping and kitchen jobs pay approximately $60,000 per year. Offshore oil workers generally work 12-hour shifts, and most workers spend two weeks offshore before taking two or three weeks off.
Cruise Ship Jobs
The cruise ship industry also has a plentiful supply of jobs. Cruise ship companies hire for two different job categories: crew members and staff, according to a January 2012 Fox News article. Crew members such as captains, engineer and maintenance workers, perform duties related to the operation and maintenance of the ship. Most staff members perform hospitality work, including waiting tables, cooking and housekeeping, or perform on stage as musicians, actors and singers. The website Fab Job, which published an e-Book on cruise ship jobs, says companies pay a salary of $1,500 to $2,500 per month for most entry-level cruise ship jobs, and workers receive free room and board.
Companies routinely hire women for commercial fishing jobs, says the website Alaska Fishing Jobs Center. You need an average to excellent fitness level, good stamina and a sense of adventure, says the website. Jobs pay $5,000 to $10,000 in a season, which may be as short as 10 days or as long as two months, reports Michael Wann, author of the website Road to Alaska. The work can be tedious and dangerous and may not pay well, and finding commercial fishing jobs may be more difficult for women, who may be turned off by the environment. The culture can be crass and vulgar, and women are often cast in the role of cook, says Wann.
- Macleans: Few Women in Atlantic Canada’s Offshore Oil Jobs
- Reuters: Lonely, Hard Work on Oil Rigs, But Salaries Soaring
- Rigzone: Pioneering Women: O&G Industry’s Front Line Females
- FabJob: Become a Cruise Ship Worker
- Alaska Fishing Jobs Center: Frequently Asked Questions
- Road to Alaska: Work Alaska: Fishing
- FoxNews: What's It Like to Work on a Cruise Ship?
Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.