career

10 worst jobs of 2013

Oil rig worker
Oil rig worker © Corepics VOF/Shutterstock.com

It's not surprising that oil rig workers have a spot on the worst-jobs list. These employees often endure 12-hour, physically strenuous shifts in harsh environmental conditions and may be stationed in locales far away from their families for months at a time, says Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone, an online community for the oil and gas industry. But there is a bright side: If you can hack the downsides, you'll be compensated handsomely. According to Rigzone's latest salary survey, offshore and rig workers earn total compensation packages averaging $69,000 per year. Those who make it to managerial positions bring home about $140,000 annually in salary and benefits.

"Over the last four years, we've had a tremendous amount of growth of job opportunities in the industry," says Caplan, particularly if you're willing to go global. Oil rig workers are seeing significant job expansion in the U.S. as well as in areas such as Southeast Asia and parts of the Middle East.

Regardless of where you work, new technologies that decrease reliance on crude oil or increase drilling productivity could impact future job prospects, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you're heading out of the job, think about boning up on your welding or engineering skills. Caplan says those skills are at a premium for hiring managers right now.

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