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May 7, 2010 12:16 AM by Marcelle Fontenot

Life on a Rig-Part 2

In Part Two of our series "Life on a Rig", we look at why, after such a massive explosion and now spill, would anyone want to work offshore?

There are many reasons, including the money!

"I do like the pay and I don't mind being away from home."

"The money is one thing, I also like being on the water."

Rickey Timms and Craig Mason are both in training before they start to work offshore.

Trainer Mike Galloway confirms, money is a key reason people choose this profession.

"The money attracts people, oh yeah, cause its very good pay," says Galloway. "You make a good living working on a rig."

Most offshore workers bring home a bigger paycheck than most other 9 to 5's.

"You are 18-19 years old and making 50 to 80 thousand dollars a year and working half the year," explains industry expert and former offshore worker Virgil Allen. "Some offshore workers make more than the MBA's"

Allen says someone who has just graduated from high school can go offshore as a roustabout, which is basically an entry level position, making 50 to 70 thousand dollars a year. That person is more than likely going to work a total of two weeks a month, half of the time as most in the working class. However, the money and time are not the only benefits.

"Companies have great retirement plans, great healthcare plans so you can have a good benefits package along with that immediate income and they don't have to go to law school or med school," Allen explains.

The average offshore worker has graduated from high school; some have even graduated from college. Majority of rig workers have attended technical college or have been trained to do a specific job. But, what about the risk? In the shadows of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, students like Crain Mason, say they are aware of what could happen but see the benefits far out weighing the risk.

"When something like this happens, the risk reveals it's ugly head and you come to a crossroads. You have to decide, is the financial gain worth it. You do that risk-reward thing."

Marcelle asks Mason, "And you decided?"

"Well, I'm still here."

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