Tips for Making the Most of Your Oil Field Job

When you sign on for a job in the oil field, you’re helping the world from the ground up in an essential industry. Knowing you’re making a difference to millions of people is what makes all the hard labor you’ll perform rewarding.

Still, it can be hard to remember this benefit after a grueling day in the field, far away from the people you love. 

Whether you’re just starting out in the oil field industry or you’re a seasoned professional feeling burnt out, follow these tips to make the most of your time on the job.

1. Find Ways to Stay in Shape

Yes, an oil rig job is physically intense. However, if you do the same thing each day, there will be muscles you work with regularly and some that aren’t used as much.

The better shape you’re in, the easier it will be to handle anything thrown your way. You’ll need to find ways to get cardio in for endurance activities and heart health and to strength-train the muscle groups neglected by your position.

Part of the job requirements for most oil field workers is that you can’t smoke or drink during your contract, as both of these habits can hurt your physical and mental health. 

Your habits, including how you eat, matter. Grab nutritious calories consistently throughout the day, even if it means keeping a protein bar or a pack of nuts in your pocket and snacking on them when you can’t stop for a meal.

When you’re eating healthy, you sleep better, and since your schedule will be erratic, finding sleep when you can is a crucial part of the job.

2. Keep Your Morale Up

Finding ways to stay in physical health is important, but your mental health also plays a major role in your overall well-being. 

Oil rig workers are often on the road for weeks or months at a time, which can be isolating. You won’t always have time to reach out to your loved ones after a long day in the field, but try to communicate as much as possible. Those little contacts go a long way in recharging your morale and theirs.

The type of lodging you are in can help or harm your mental health. If you’re in a man camp, you may not get much privacy and can’t always choose your roommates. When you have a choice to spend your per diem on a hotel room or save it and stay in a man camp, splurge on the hotel room. You’ll appreciate the luxuries, like housekeeping, hot showers, and peace and quiet.

3. Don’t Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Before you laugh and say there is no comfort zone in oil field work, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. You know your job so well that you’re comfortable in it. But there are other positions in the oil field industry that aren’t as challenging physically.

Climbing the ladder in the oil field industry can take you from hard labor to managerial and office jobs. Those may not sound interesting to you right now, but your body could change your mind after a decade or two of rigorous oil field work.

Starting today, step out of your comfort zone and begin asking questions and offering support to learn skills the “future you” will need. Do more than you’re asked, and do it with a good attitude. You might be surprised at how someone without hard skills but with excellent soft skills excels faster than someone who knows what they’re doing but has a bad attitude.

You’re building your reputation whether you do this actively or not. If you want to climb the ladder and land better-paying, less laborious jobs down the road, you must start now. Set goals and work toward them. Knowing there’s an end in sight will help you get through the long, hard days.


Taking a job in the oil field industry is both rewarding and demanding. It’s a job that most people can’t handle, but you can, and you’ll reap the benefits over time. Remember these three tips to make the most of the long hours and hard work, and you’ll have a successful and lucrative career under your belt.