GOM Offshore Job Market heating up?

I have been seeing an increase in postings from agencies looking to fill contract spots for positions in the GOM. Wondering why it seems that the drillship and MODU companies seem to be using agencies to fill what seem to be short term employment opportunities as opposed to direct hiring? Am I misreading the situation?

If they’re short duration jobs why bother going through the hiring process? If it’s a long term opening, it let’s them vet a person in a temp spot and if the person works out then the company can make them permanent.

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Why would they not use an agency? If you hire employees directly you have a lot of state and federal regulations to follow. Contract employees can be hired and fired as needed. The international shipping industry has long employed contract employees, the GOM is just adopting the world model for maritime employees.

Not very many State regulations in Louisiana…
Texas does seem to put a little more burden on operators than any other state involved in the oil industry.

What is considered a normal job now, land jobs? In the past folks worked in the GOM for the higher pay.Why would a GOM mariner choose to live on shore with all the expenses when they could have free room and board while making money. If land based jobs offer the same that is a good sign !

All I know is big companies having trouble finding mates for one. Pay raises to AB, OS, QMED but not officers. Chouest pulling bodies from overseas to fill GOM positions. Desperation.


They don’t seem to be looking very hard. I’ll believe it when I see more Indeed.com ads and (gasp!) Workboat Mag.

I HAVE seen a couple of crewboat ads however.

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Onshore pay in maritime has caught up and surpassed onboard/offshore pay for comparable positions inside the company.

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I honestly couldn’t tell you why there doesn’t seem to be much interest. There are job postings on websites, word of mouth, but nobody walking into the HR office. Maybe people are too pissed off from the last round of layoffs and not coming back. I don’t blame them. I have been asked to work over several times because of the shortage. Not my fucking problem.

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Price of oil goes up, jobs abound, Price of oil goes down, you guys know the cycle. Watched that stuff for over 40 years.


If you are a licensed engineer with a minimum of a dde unlimited plus all the stcw bells and whistles, there are plenty of opportunities out there right now. I recently made a move and had offers from a few OSV operators. I was going to accept one of those offers before something closer to home bit me in the behind.

I will say generally speaking they are still kinda flaky communication wise. Although OSV wages are becoming competitive with tugs again, most of the osv companies have lackluster benefits compared with most tug companies. Once that changes i would anticipate more folks venturing back to OSVs.


Money talks and I’m for one not holding my breath for Boudreaux, king of Fourchon to increase day rates anytime soon.
Also the schedule sucks. Sad really, to expect the licenses required for those hosts and guys to work for sub par wages and detestable benefits.
When they’re paying Mates more than the tiny little tugs of the world and working equal time I may bite.

Ya, me neither. I will be moving on in the near future for a much better opportunity. I’m tired of the ups and downs and mismanagement and disrespect for the folks that make these companies what they are. I also feel sorry for the folks that are blindly loyal to these companies. We’re free agents and need to look out for ourselves in the long run.


There is no need to put up with any bayou bullshit or low wages in this strong job market.


I debated with myself for a while about getting a TOAR and learning a new trade. In the end, I went over to the dark-side. I’m now a high priced yacht whore in Miami.


Could you expand on that a bit? What are you considering comparable? Like Port Engr and Ops / Asset Mgr? GoM companies or maritime companies in general? Just curious, I never made the jump to the office in the Marine world but I always found the prospect intriguing.

So let’s say:

“Mangers” (loosely based position) in maritime companies: could be considered as 2nd Mate - CM, and 2nd A/E and 1st A/E will see shoreside a range easily from $75k-$150K depending on the company and business.

Directors and higher in maritime companies: which would compare to your Masters and C/E will see shoreside a range from $120k - $250k depending on the company and business, and could be even more with bonus and benefits etc.

Not placing a specific title, like Ops Manager or Port Engineer or Superintendent, the comparable salary to the hierarchy is there.

A former unlicensed tugboat engineer started at $90k plus lavish benefits as a land based tech. He gets more now plus a commission on work that he sells. Easily $150k

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Those are pretty broad numbers. A chief mate would have a rough time going down to 75k, just like a Master would have a hard time going down to 120.

You have to start somewhere. Plus those ranges encompass all sectors, it’s on the person that applies to either take the job or not based on total compensation. I am just saying that anyone who is working onboard could make a move to shore that will pay comparable.