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How To Get a Job In The Oil Field With No Experience

So you’ve decided that you want to work on an oil rig? That’s great. Now all you have to do is look for the jobs you’re qualified for and wait until you hear back from an employer. But what happens if you don’t have experience in the field? There are a lot of good men and women out there (many ex-military) who have the work ethic but just can’t seem to find a company who will hire them. “But I thought the oil companies were practically begging to have people work for them.” you say. This is only partly true. While there are many entry level positions available such as roughneck and welders, there are also a slew of other jobs such as medics, chemists, engineers and other services that need to be filled too. So while the oilfields DO create more jobs, a lot of them do require some sort of experience or professional degree to get. So where does that leave you?


Basic Qualifications

Before you go ahead and book the first bus to North Dakota in hopes of a big pay day, you need to understand what the basic qualifications are for entry level positions. These aren’t set in stone but should at least be taken into consideration.

  • You are in decent physical shape and can lift at least 50lbs multiples times throughout the day. If you have serious health problems, you’ll probably want to reconsider your choice
  • You are at least 18 years old with a valid drivers license
  • You are willing to work extremely long hours. It is not uncommon for entry-level employees to work 12-14 hours for 7 days a week. This lifestyle ain’t for the faint.
  • You are medically fit to operate machinery
  • You own all the necessary protective gear such as boots, gloves, glasses and anything else you need for your environment
  • You are willing to move to the job’s location. Most likely you don’t live in the area where your company will need you. You must be OK with leaving your current residence for long periods of time
  • Be prepared for unstable employment. Many entry-level jobs fluctuate. You may have months of non-stop work followed by a month of being unemployed. Get ready to have to relocate to new jobs at short notice




If you have absolutely zero experience but have a little extra money to throw around, consider investing in oilfield specific training. There are schools that offer oilfield training which can help boost your resume to the top of the pile. A short list can be found here:

Atlantic Petroleum Training College

The American Petroleum Institute

Petroleum College International


Properly Locating Yourself


While you don’t have to live in the area where you will be working, it is important to understand where the companies you want to apply for are currently operating. You need to do some research online and find out where the work is and then make a concerted effort to go out after it. You can do this by going to job fairs, interviews and any training courses that may be offered in these locations.


Seismic Exploration

If you don’t feel like footing the bill to go to school, consider joining a seismic exploration team. There are many jobs in the seismic field industry because each team is rather large, consisting of 20-45 people. Most will hire people even if they have little to no experience working on the oilfield. The starting pay isn’t the highest, but it can serve as a good starting point. After a good run with a seismic crew, you should have enough experience to get higher up positions in the oilfield industry.


Apply To The Right Places

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Most people make the mistake of trying to apply to large companies by submitting their resumes online. The problem is that many of these companies actually give their work to private contractors. So instead of applying to large firms, try looking at smaller contractors. You may need to do a little research online to find out who they are in particular areas. Try going on general employment websites to see if there are any oil field postings. Also, consider submitting your resume to online job boards where the contractors may be able to search for YOU. Remember, if you get turned down a bunch of times don’t get discouraged. Keep your head up and continue churning out resumes.

29 responses to “How To Get a Job In The Oil Field With No Experience

  1. I have no experience in the oilfield but would love to be given the opportunity to work on an oil rig anywhere.

    1. Keep pluggin’ away Mike! Persistence is key to finding a job out there! I’m currently writing a post about what to include on your resume as we speak

  2. I have been searching the internet on “how to get a job in the oil field” and this blog has been the most helpful. I have no experience but seeing there are schools you can attend to boost your resume has really interest me. I realise thats its a great field to work in, its just getting your foot in the door is hard. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Hey Stefan,

      Don’t get discouraged man. Keep researching and giving your resume to anyone who will accept it. More often then not there’s always someone out there whose willing to give you shot. Check out our blog in a couple of weeks and we’ll have some tips on how to tailor your resume better to these types of jobs!

  3. I have experience in both offshore and onshore pipeline but I don’t think oil companies consider that experience. I love hard work and good pay but it seems like I can never get my foot in the door.

  4. I’ve been trying to get in the oil fields for awhile and the problem is i just dont know how to go about applying or how to find them

  5. I’m currently looking to get hired in any oilfield position that is available for a person with no experience but willing to work hard

  6. My factory in Ottawa shut down. I want to get into the oil fields. Most of my experience comes from factory work. If anyone has any contact to pass my name and e-mail address to, that would be very appreciated. Kyle Gaines, ctropaleatoire@hotmail.com

    thank you!


  7. Trying to get a career in this field but i have no experience. Anyone have any ideas of how to get into a position and get trained?

  8. I have been looking for a no experience job in oil fields, I’m a hard worker willing to learn. if anybody knows where in Alice Texas I can get hired please email me …www.venturaralph42682@gmail.com Thank You very much I am despretly asking for info

  9. I would like to get in to the oil fields but I dont realy have that much experience. I’m a realy fast learner and could work any hours ,even relocate.

  10. I’ve been trying to get in the oil field.Im 25 built and ready to start a new career today.6026899910

  11. I’m looking to get into the oil fields but have no experience. I am ready to work my ass off and go whenever the job is needed. If anyone knows how I can get it email me at svillareal44@aol.com you will be greatly appreciated

  12. I would like the opportunity to work on the oilfield again. Just give me a chance. I will not let you down.


  14. I am a 35 year old . I have experience in hard working enviroments. I am from south florida and really want to get into the oil field. I have 4 kids and am looking for a career to support my family. I spoke with wife and we both realize i would be gone for work and we are willing to do this. What do I need to do to get my foot in the door. I have been detailing yachts for the past 12 years and am ready for a change. I am in very good shape and a very hard worker. If anyone can give me advice of anykind or help me get my foot in the door please contact me. My phone # is 561-577-8210. Thank you very much.Have a great day….

  15. I have Bachelors in Petroleum Engineering and am struggling to find work. Hunker down ladies and gents its going to be a bumpy ride over the next year or so.

  16. I currently have no experience in the line of oil fields work and im open to start a line of work im dedicated to start work as soon as possible

  17. I would like to join the oil industry but I do not have experience. I would like to learn more about this field as I am interested to learn more from it.

  18. I am looking for oil field job..I am hard labor..looking for some one in oilfield too give me a shot ..stockey muscles..good for long hrs..and..some thing long terms..4695081721.Jeremiah adams.Hurst. Tx…76053(795 e .pecan st .216 apt ..asap..

  19. Hi everyone – I’m going to leave the comments to date on this post since some of you shared your interest in joining the oil field work force and I wish all of you the best in your job hunt.

    However, I need to turn the comments off since there are far better places for you to share your contact information if you’re seeking out employment, and placing employees is not the mission or goal of our company.

    We simply sell trucks and aim to raise awareness for what’s going on in the industry as a whole.

    We at Tiger General wish all of you the best of luck in your job hunt. Be persistent and if you do get a foothold with a position in the oilfield industry, be safe out there!


    Mark Overholt
    Owner, Tiger General LLC

Comments are closed.