Because they must be licensed, most electrician jobs hold very similar requirements when it comes to electrical knowledge and skills. What can vary from job to job are the additional skills and abilities that may be associated with that specific job. For example, a chief electrician will need to have more hands-on experience in the oil and gas industry and will also need to have good leadership, communication, and management skills.
There are four basic electrician jobs associated with the oil and gas industry:
- Chief electrician
It can be more difficult to get a job as an apprentice in the oil and gas industry, but it is not impossible. Depending on the state, an apprenticeship may be as long as four years, and it must be combined with classroom and hands-on training. Apprentice electricians will assist the journeymen and perform some basic electrical work.
Journeymen are the most common electricians hired, and they perform the daily tasks, repairs, maintenance, construction, etc. required by the site.
The draftsman is hired more often for specific projects, to develop the specifications for electrical systems for reactivated or new sites.
The chief electrician is hired to oversee others, if the rig or site has multiple electricians. This person can also have other management-related tasks like creating a budget or reports.
In addition to completing a formal apprenticeship or training program and becoming licensed, other qualities that the electrician should possess include good color vision (electrical wires are often color coded), good troubleshooting or problem-solving skills, customer service skills, and critical thinking skills.
Other requirements you might see on an electrician job posting include:
- Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
- Must have a high school diploma.
- Completion of a documented Accredited Apprentice Program, or up to 5 years electrical experience as a Journeyman.
- Must have certification for working with high voltage.
- Must have a working knowledge of electrical distribution systems, electrical logic and loop diagrams, motor control center breakers, starters, and switchgear.
- Must have received helicopter underwater egress training in the last five years. (for offshore work)
- Must have STCW (Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) certification. (for offshore work)
- Must be proficient using Microsoft Office.
- Must have AutoCad experience.
- Three to five years of experience required.
- Good written and verbal communication skills.
- Must pass a medical examination and receive necessary vaccinations.
- Must participate fully in the company annual performance appraisal process.
- Must have three to five years of experience working on a cyber jack-up rig. (for offshore work)
- Ability to self-direct work.
- Experience in the oil and gas industry preferred.
- Must be willing to travel.
- Experience in shipyard rig reactivation projects.
- Spanish language skills preferred.
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Training to Become an Electrician