Career Development

What Does an Oiler Do?

Find out what an oiler does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an oiler.

Oiling is one of the most important steps in maintaining a boat’s engine. It keeps everything running smoothly and prevents corrosion from forming on any metal surfaces.

Oilers are responsible for performing this vital task, which requires them to be knowledgeable about all aspects of their vessel’s engine. They must know how each component works individually and how they interact with other components. This knowledge allows them to identify potential problems before they become serious issues that could threaten the safety of the crew or the integrity of the ship itself.

Oiler Job Duties

Oilers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Replacing used lubricants with new ones to ensure optimal performance of machinery for long periods of time
  • Monitoring the equipment’s temperature levels to ensure that it does not overheat or overcool
  • Inspecting fluid levels, temperatures, pressures, and other parameters to ensure that equipment is working properly
  • Cleaning machinery parts and equipment to remove buildup of dirt and grime
  • Inspecting equipment for signs of wear or damage, and reporting problems to the appropriate parties for repair or replacement
  • Filling fuel tanks with gasoline or diesel fuel at service stations or other locations where vehicles are serviced
  • Changing oil filters, replacing oil filters, and adding new oil to vehicles as needed
  • Monitoring oil levels in engines to ensure that they do not run low or overheat
  • Inspecting equipment for signs of wear or damage, and reporting problems to the appropriate parties for repair or replacement
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the supervisor

Oiler Salary & Outlook

Oiler salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)

The employment of oilers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Oil and gas production will continue in the United States, but the number of oilers needed per well may decline as automation increases. However, some oil and gas fields will continue to require large numbers of workers because they are difficult to access or are located in remote areas.

Related: Oiler Interview Questions and Answers

Oiler Job Requirements

There are a few requirements for becoming an oiler, which may include:

Education: Most employers require an associate’s degree or higher for an oiler position. An aspiring oiler can earn a two-year degree in a field like petroleum technology or chemistry. These programs teach students about the properties of oil and gas, how to read a drilling log and how to calculate the amount of oil and gas in a well.

Training & Experience: Oiler training is typically part of the on-the-job training for a new position. This training may include learning about the specific equipment and processes used by the company. Oiler training may also include instruction on safety procedures and regulations.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Oiler Skills

Oilers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Mechanical aptitude: Oiling machines is a mechanical skill, so having aptitude in this area can help you learn how to perform this task. Mechanical aptitude can help you understand how machines work and how to repair them. It can also help you learn how to use tools and equipment to complete your work.

Attention to detail: Oiling machines and equipment is a precise process that requires attention to detail. You can use your attention to detail to ensure you apply the correct amount of oil to each machine and that you don’t miss any spots. This can help you save time and resources by completing your work more efficiently.

Safety awareness: Oiling machines and equipment can be dangerous work, so it’s important for oilers to have a strong understanding of workplace safety. This includes knowing how to identify hazards, how to use personal protective equipment and how to follow safety protocols.

Communication skills: Oiling machines and equipment requires you to communicate with others. You may need to explain to someone what you’re doing or why you need to stop what you’re doing to help them. You can also use your communication skills to ask questions and learn more about the equipment you’re working on.

Teamwork: Oiling is a team-oriented job, so it’s important for oilers to be able to work with others. This can include collaborating with other oilers to ensure that all machinery is properly lubricated and that the oil supply is sufficient. It can also mean working with other members of the maintenance team to ensure that machinery is properly repaired and that the oil supply is replenished.

Oiler Work Environment

Oilers work in the engine room of a ship and are responsible for the maintenance and repair of all the ship’s engines. They work long hours, often in shifts, and are on call 24 hours a day. The work is physically demanding, and oilers must be able to lift heavy objects and work in cramped, hot, and noisy conditions. They also need to be able to follow complex instructions and work well under pressure.

Oiler Trends

Here are three trends influencing how oilers work. Oilers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is beginning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to make its operations more efficient. This includes using AI to automate tasks, such as data collection and analysis, which can free up human resources for other tasks.

As AI becomes more prevalent in the industry, oilers will need to learn how to work with this technology in order to remain competitive. They will also need to be able to understand and interpret the data that AI produces, which can be difficult without proper training.

More Focus on Safety

The oil and gas industry has always placed a high value on safety, but recent events have led to an increased focus on this area. This is due to the fact that many accidents in the industry are caused by human error, which can be prevented through better training and procedures.

Oilers who want to stay ahead of the curve should focus on becoming certified in safety-related areas, such as first aid and fire prevention. In addition, they should strive to become familiar with the latest safety technologies so that they can help their companies adopt them.

Greater Emphasis on Cybersecurity

The oil and gas industry is becoming increasingly reliant on digital systems, which makes it vulnerable to cyberattacks. As a result, oilers need to be aware of the risks associated with cybersecurity and how to protect themselves and their company from attacks.

In order to protect themselves, oilers need to ensure that their devices are updated with the latest security patches and that they are careful about what information they share online. They also need to be wary of phishing scams and never click on links or download files from unknown sources.

How to Become an Oiler

Oiling a chain is an important part of bike maintenance. It keeps the chain running smoothly and prevents wear on other parts of the bike. Oiling a chain can be tricky, so it’s best to learn from someone who knows what they’re doing.

The first step in oiling a chain is to remove any dirt or debris that may be on it. You can do this with a brush or rag. Next, apply a thin layer of lubricant to the chain. Make sure you get all areas of the chain, including the inside of the plates. Finally, wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean rag.

Advancement Prospects

Oilers typically start their careers as roustabouts, working on the rigs and doing manual labor. With experience, they can move up to the position of derrick operator, which involves operating the machinery that moves the drill pipe. The next step up is driller, which is the person in charge of the entire drilling operation. Beyond that, there are positions in management and administration.

Oiler Job Description Example

We are looking for an Oiler to join our team. The Oiler will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all machinery and equipment on board the vessel. He or she will work closely with the Chief Engineer to ensure that all machinery is running smoothly and efficiently. The Oiler will be responsible for the upkeep of the engine room and all related equipment, including but not limited to: pumps, compressors, generators, and engines. He or she will also be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe work environment.

The ideal candidate for this position will have previous experience working on board a vessel, preferably as an Oiler or Assistant Engineer. He or she must have a strong understanding of maritime laws and regulations. The Oiler must be able to work independently and be able to take initiative when necessary. He or she must also be able to work well under pressure and be able to troubleshoot problems as they arise.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lubricate moving parts of engines, motors, and machinery
  • Clean and maintain work areas
  • Inspect equipment for proper functioning
  • Record maintenance and repair work
  • Perform basic repairs and troubleshooting
  • Assist with more complex repairs as needed
  • Maintain inventory of lubricants and supplies
  • Follow safety procedures
  • Adhere to company policies and regulations
  • Comply with all OSHA standards
  • Report any incidents or accidents
  • Train new employees

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to pass a background check and drug test
  • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Strong mechanical aptitude
  • Basic math skills
  • Ability to lift 50+ pounds

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in automotive technology or related field
  • 2+ years of experience as an oiler or mechanic
  • ASE certification
  • Proficiency in computerized maintenance management systems
  • Working knowledge of OSHA regulations


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