How To Get A Job In Oil Well Fire and Blowout Control

One of the most challenging jobs in the world is that of oilfield fire fighting and wild well control. The men pictured above are oilfield firefighters who work in a highly specialized field as elite problem solvers.

When an oil or gas well is being drilled there is always the chance that the drill bit will penetrate a layer of earth where there is an incredible amount of natural pressure built up. This pressure has built up over millions of years. Normally the drilling mud or drilling fluid will hold back this pressure. In some cases however an event called a blowout occurs. Blowouts often result in massive property damage and occasionally loss of life.

In the 1950’s a man named Red Adair started the first wild well control company. His company fought fires from the deserts of Algeria to Texas. During the first Gulf War his company was called in to help put out dozens of huge oil well fires that Saddam Husein’s troops started.

How To Become An Oilfield Fire Fighter or Wild Well Specialist

Oilfield fire fighters may come from a number of backgrounds. Often they are long time oilfield workers with decades of experience. Companies like Boots and Coots and Cudd Well Control hire persons with explosives experience, such as ex-military, mechanical engineers, safety experts and heavy equipment operators.

Modern wild well control is beginning to utilize robots for close in dangerous work. Those with a background in industrial robotics may find a job in wild well control.

If you have several years of experience as a consultant, driller or toolpusher in the oil and gas industry you may consider applying for a job with one of these companies. Engineers with a few years experience in oil and gas are also often hired by companies like these. Salary and benefits are extremely good. On average wild well control company employees make over $200,000 a year. The price they pay for that high salary is being on call all of the time and being away from home and family for weeks at a time. In some cases wild well control may take up to several months.

This is not an entry level job. However, there are occasionally entry level positions within these companies, such as for mechanics, truck drivers and in logistics. If you can get a foot in the door and then expand on your education you may be able to work your way up the ladder in a few years.

Below is Russian footage of an oil well blowout.


This is probably one of the most demanding and exciting jobs in the world.

For more about oil well firefighting and well control see: Wild Well Control Jobs