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For all the mechanical engineers whom had working experience in mines, oil rigs

  1. Dec 6, 2007 #1
    Hi guys, i am about to graduate from my mechanical engineering degree, i am thinking of going into the mining industries, becoming an on-site engineer.
    People have been telling me that it's a job that pays VERY WELL, but the downfall is that you will have to be on the site for 6 months every year and the living conditions are like living in a jail cell.
    So i would just like to find out from all the people that had worked in the mining industry, just exactly how are the working conditions and do they really pay enough to make it worth while to spend 6 months on the sites every year?
    Thanks a lot guys, the informations you provide will be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2007 #2


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    I've spent the past 8 years building/visiting/working on offshore drilling rigs. It does pay extremely well, and not just for people with college degrees.

    The living conditions really do vary quite drastically from rig to rig (offshore anyway, never worked on a land unit but I hear they usually live in mobile homes on site or either close by). Most of the rigs that have been built in the past decade have rather nice accommodations relative to seagoing vessels of course. I mean they're not 5 star hotels by any means, but nothing like a jail cell.

    The rooms are cleaned daily by the catering staff, and all of the meals are prepared for you "cafeteria style". You generally work 12 hours shifts 7 days a week for anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks (and then your off equal time). It is a rotational schedule.
  4. Dec 7, 2007 #3
    I hope you dont mind me asking, but what exactly is the job description for an on-site mechanical engineer there? And is it true that there are huge demands for mechanical engineers to work on the rigs?
    Thank you very much
  5. Dec 7, 2007 #4


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    Normally what happens after you graduate and get hired by a drilling contractor is they put you through their training program. The program varies, but usually consists of you working on the rig in various different capacities for short durations (starting at the bottom and going to the top). Once you finish the program you will have acquired enough operational experience in order to actual work as an engineer in that capacity. "That capacity" is normally you being the on site engineer responsible for all related problem associated with your discipline (and sometimes things that are not your discipline). If the problems are not in your area of expertise, normally you'll just be the lead engineer who is responsible for the project but will consult with the appropriate disciplined engineer (who is normally shore based).
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