There is a strong demand for offshore drilling workers, especially in the Gulf Coast region where the industry is concentrated. Individuals working in this field not only require knowledge of the heavy machinery and tools, but must also be trained in safety procedures and regulations required for this sometimes dangerous occupation. Several schools stand out for their breadth and dept of training, as well as for their association with reputable organizations committed to high quality training.

PETEX Rig School

The Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) is an extension of The University of Texas at Austin. PETEX’s Rig School has been offering training in offshore operations for over 35 years. Their Intro to Offshore Operations course covers the basics of the industry, including logistics, equipment, procedures and regulations. The school offers a number of courses taught by oil and gas industry professionals, including the introductory courses Elementary Drilling and Petroleum Fundamentals and a numbers of specialty courses in areas such as liquid petroleum measurement, plant processing and production technology.

The Lone Star College System

Lone Star College campus in University Park, Texas, offers programs for Petroleum Field Service Technicians. The school is accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and is qualified to issue offshore endorsements. The school is also SafeGulf approved, meaning it meets the basic safety training standards developed by BP, Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil. Students can complete a certificate program or an Associate of Applied Science degree program. The programs includes courses in petroleum technology, the petroleum industry and regulations, as well as technical courses in hydraulics and pneumatics, motor controls, material handling, petroleum instrumentation and troubleshooting.

Well Control School

The commercial training program at the Well Control School is accredited by both the IADC and the International Well Control Forum (IWCF). The school offers maximum flexibility with its three locations -- Houston, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Laurel, Mississippi -- as well as computer or web-based courses. Instructor-led courses are taught by experts in the subject matter with years of practical experience in the field. Courses include IADC WellCAP drilling, well servicing, and snubbing. Web- or computer-based courses include IADC WellCAP well control training, workover/ well completion and a gap analysis program.

Williston State College

Located closer to the north pacific drilling region, the Continuing Education and Workforce Training division of Williston State College, in Williston, North Dakota, offers training courses in drilling at its Petroleum Safety and Technology Center. Courses are designed for offshore drillers who desire IADC certification. The program is fully accredited by the IADC. Courses offered include Well Control--Drilling, Well Control--Workover and Floorhand for Well Servicing. In addition, the school offers courses in safety training and working with hazardous materials.

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