Offshore Life and what to expect as a Medic – Part 2

Part 2 of an ongoing series that discusses what to expect when taking up the life of an Offshore Medic.

So, in Part 1 it was all doom and gloom. I covered a lot of the considerations you have to think about before committing to the expense and effort of just getting yourself qualified as a medic.

Now in part two, the clouds are going to lift, the sun is going to shine and I’ll tell you why I think it’s such a bloody good job!

  • You have significantly higher wages than anywhere in the NHS or Armed Forces (we’re talking 45k per annum or more)
  • You get at least half the year off (some companies are now giving folk 7.5 months off a year),
  • When you’re off work, you’re completely off. Your time is yours – possibly because they can’t ask you to pop by the office for 5 minutes tomorrow!
  • You have almost complete professional autonomy – you work alone and the only medical supervision is sitting in an office (usually in Aberdeen)
  • You have a variety of roles you can choose between (more on that below) which will challenge you in ways you never expected
  • Normal jobs rarely involve traveling to Norway, Brazil, West Africa, Singapore or Australia for weeks at a time.
  • You’ll never have to queue in traffic to get to work (plus, jumping on a helicopter is way cooler than sitting on the 06.30 bus to work).
  • When you are offshore, other people cook your meals, do your washing and clean your room,
  • When you wake up in the morning you are already at work. There’s no traveling.
  • You don’t have to worry about promotion – if you want, you can branch out and apply for other offshore jobs, but there will never be a contest to see who is going to be ‘senior’ medic
  • Personal development is so much easier than you would find in a regular job.
    • Want to study something? Distance learning is a cinch – you can do it when you’re home and have no commitments and you can do it on the rig at night (there’s only so much Simpsons you can watch).
    • Hobbies? Master them like you always wanted to. Currently, I’m trying to write a novel (go figure) and I know if I was on shore I know I would never even have gotten to the researching stage of it!.
  • According to every parent I’ve worked with, the time you get to spend with your kids is greater in quantity and quality.
  • And lastly, it’s better than having a real job!

The last point is a personal view of mine. Whenever I get a bit fed up of going offshore, I think about having a ‘normal’ job onshore. The thought of getting up at the same time every day and having to travel to the same place every day makes cold fingers of dread explore my innards. And although you actually end up working more hours than ‘normal’ jobs, concentrating it in one batch suits me better. One way to gauge is to ask yourself this question;

Would you rather work eight hours a day for five days, OR twelve hours a day for three days?”

If it’s the latter then working offshore could well be for you.

But before you can make a full decision, it might be an idea to let you know what the job itself actually entails. In part 3 of this series, we’ll start looking at what a medic does on a day to day basis!