Salary of a Rig Electrician

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Oil rig electricians can make high annual salaries.
Oil rig electricians can make high annual salaries. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Oil rigs, both land and offshore, have many types of workers on them. Oil rigs extract oil from deep underground wells and reserves, and this extraction process takes many kinds of professionals to achieve. Electricians are integral members of the rig team. Without them, the equipment and tools would not work. Salaries for these workers depends on the level of responsibility.

Overview of Rig Electricians

Electricians on oil rigs, especially those on offshore rigs, do more than regular, standard electricians. Rig electricians work in tight, cramped quarters, as well as up in the air on high cranes. They must be flexible and able to work on many different types of wiring systems, maintaining safety while surrounded by water. Three main types of rig electrician positions include chief electrician, electrician and electrical technicians.

Chief Electrician Salary

Chief electricians, also known as maintenance supervisors, on oil rigs manage all the repairs and maintenance of the rig’s electrical equipment. Some common job requirements include working 12-hour shifts and managing other electricians. According to Oil Rig Job International, the average salary for this position is $85,500. Rigworker reports that chief electricians can earn $83,000 per year, while maintenance supervisors can make $87,500 per year.

Electrician Salary

Oil rig electricians have duties similar to mechanics. Some days, rig electricians work on the galley wiring systems, while the next they might work on the laundry wiring. They must be able to fix the rig’s air-conditioning units and change light bulbs. Electricians on rigs work in all climates and weather conditions. According to Offshore Drilling Jobs, the average salary for electricians is $63,000 per year. Rigworker reports that electricians make an average of $65,000 per year.

Electrical Technician Salary

Electrical technicians generally have more specialized technical knowledge than regular rig electricians. They manage the electrical work on the rig’s expensive computer systems, including navigation and drilling systems. They also help to make sure wireless routers, weather software and telecommunications systems are supplied with power. According to Rigworker, electrical technicians make an average of $74,000 per year.

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