Although the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a catastrophe, at least it’s created a mini-job boom at a time when unemployment is raging and jobs are needed most. Paid oil spill jobs are available along the shores of the Gulf states with more likely to come, including cleanup, containment, supply and wildlife-rescue jobs. Volunteer opportunities are available too.
Paid Oil Spill Jobs
Update: An article in the New York Times indicated that most of the remaining paid oil-spill cleanup jobs are reserved for local costal residents. However, a quick check by this writer revealed that jobs dealing with other aspects of offshore oil drilling and spills are still available to qualified nonresidents.
A variety of paid oil spill jobs are available for employees and contractors, ranging from laborers to professionals and subordinates to management. Jobs that require workers to come into direct contact with the oil require specialized training or certification, such as Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “training is provided for free” and “workers will be supervised by people with at least 40 hours of hazardous operations training.” To learn about the hazards of working on the oil spill and the specialized training that might be required, browse “Keeping Workers Safe During Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Operations” at OSHA’s Web site.
A good place to search for oil spill jobs (besides that link) is through the One-Stop Career Centers in the affected Gulf states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi), either online or in person. One-Stops work with official state agencies that list jobs and otherwise help job seekers, such as unemployment offices and workforce-investment agencies. (See the links immediately below.)
Linked below are Web pages that official Gulf-state agencies recently published, specifically for landing oil spill jobs. The same agencies are linked from the relevant One-Stop pages linked above, but these links are directly to oil spill jobs or instructions for landing same.
- Alabama JobLink – Environmental Cleanup Job Seeker Instructions
- Employ Florida Marketplace – Florida Gulf Recovery Jobs
- Louisiana Works – Find Oil Spill Jobs
- Mississippi Department of Employment Security – Oil Spill Related Jobs
Private-sector employers are hiring biologists, environmentalists, chemists, project managers, engineers, technicians, cleanup laborers and such to assist in the oil spill disaster recovery efforts. Subsequently, another good place to find oil spill jobs is likely to be at one or more of the top job banks. To search specifically for oil spill jobs, try the following keyphrases (and combinations and variations). Look in the job listings for hints at other keywords and keyphrases that might return the results you’re seeking.
- oil spill
- deepwater horizon
To find oil-spill related jobs in the U.S. federal government, search USAJobs, the official site for federal jobs.
Boat captains interested in landing paid oil spill jobs for themselves and their crews may apply though British Petroleum (BP), the company responsible for the spill. Start by reading about the “Vessels of Opportunity Program” at Deepwater Horizon Response, the official site regarding the Gulf oil spill.
Beware of scams! Con artists are falsely representing BP by “offering” oil spill job placement and training for a fee. BP spokesperson Neil Chapman said, “It is important that the public be aware that this is a scam. BP does not charge to train and hire applicants.” For updates about oil spill employment or job training scams, visit Deepwater Horizon Response. To learn about other disaster recovery scams to avoid, visit Disaster Recovery Consumer Information by the FTC.
Volunteer Oil Spill Jobs
Anyone interested in helping with the recovery efforts without pay, may volunteer to work oil spill jobs through the links below or by calling 1-866-448-5816. According to information posted among the sites linked below, volunteers will not work directly with hazardous oil-contaminated materials and any training required will be provided for free. See “Volunteer Info” at Deepwater Horizon Response for updates.
- Alabama – Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
- Florida – Deepwater Horizon Volunteer Response
- Louisiana – Oil Spill Response & Recovery Efforts
- Mississippi – Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Volunteers
EmployeeIssues.com is updating “Oil Spill Jobs” as more information becomes available. The last significant update was on 6/21/2010. To follow this post for future updates (if any) or to be notified of new posts about the same topic, subscribe to Employee Rights Blog for free.
Correction: This post initially reported that HAZWOPER training was available through the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but that was incorrect. The HAZWOPER training to which this post referred was not provided by the OSHA government agency, but rather by a training organization that goes by the name “OSHA”. Sorry if it caused confusion.