Offshore jobs generally focus on the oil industry; oil platforms of the coast are set up to extract oil from the earth for transport to land so it can be refined. An offshore trainee is a person who is in training for any one of the many jobs available in offshore facilities. The offshore trainee will generally work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced employee who can lend knowledge and skills to the trainee during the learning period. A trainee is unlikely to perform many, if any at all, duties without supervision or guidance.
In some cases, the offshore trainee will be known as an apprentice. The terms are generally interchangeable in most settings, though in other settings, a trainee may be a person who is taking the preliminary steps before an apprenticeship begins. In either case, the offshore trainee must be supervised at all times; in the early stages of the traineeship, this employee is not likely to perform any complex tasks. Instead, he or she will perform basic tasks that require no higher skill. As the traineeship progresses, the trainee may be entrusted with more complex duties performed with a more experienced employee present. By the end of the traineeship period, which can last anywhere from one to five years, the trainee should be prepared to handle most duties on his or her own.
Part of any traineeship for any type of employee is safety training. Offshore facilities can be extremely dangerous places to work, and any person who sets foot on the platform needs to know and understand relevant safety procedures. The offshore trainee will learn about safety equipment such as hard hats, eye protection, harnesses, and fire safety equipment, as well as various procedures for ensuring safe operation at all times. Evacuation procedures are also generally covered during safety training.
The offshore trainee is likely to undergo some classroom training during the traineeship period, even if he or she has earned a college degree in the relevant academic field. In many cases, the trainee may need to earn certain certifications or licenses, and the preparation for such exams will be done in a classroom either on dry land or on the offshore platform. Hands-on training is also an important component of the traineeship, as the offshore trainee must gain a certain number of hours with practical experience on an operating oil platform. Machine operation, analysis, management, welding, mechanical maintenance, and much more may be performed by any of the trainees on the platform.