The oilfield continues to boom & bust. However, given that oil & gas along with construction are considered 'essential', jobs continue to be available – both to refill the positions affected by cutbacks and to fill new positions that are being created in addition to those. Despite this increase in potential positions, finding a job in the oilfield can still be a rather difficult feat.
With so many, both locals and those coming from across the country, to start their career (or pick up where they left off before the recession) in the oilfield, it can be quite the competitive job market. Of course while having the proper education or training and valuable experience are the main considerations employers are looking for on your resume, it never hurts to show them a little extra to help your resume stand out against the rest.
There are a few ways to do this, but the one extra in particular that we are going to talk about today is the TWIC Card. We know, you are probably asking, “what is a TWIC card?” and we are going to tell you just that – along with why it’s used for oilfield employment, how you can get one, and why it will help you in your job hunt!
So What Is A TWIC Card?
TWIC cards are requirements put in place by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. They are used to identify workers who have authorization to access secure maritime areas without an escort. TWIC itself stands for “Transportation Worker Identification Credential”.
Why Are TWIC Cards Used For Oilfield Employment?
TWIC cards are actually used for individuals employed in numerous fields. These can include marines, coast guard, transportation workers, port facility workers, and cruise ship workers, as well as those in the oilfield. But why would an oilfield worker need a TWIC card? If you are pursuing a career in the oilfield, or are already employed in the industry, you know that there are many offshore rigs in operation in various states, such as Texas or California. Typically, in order to qualify for a position on one of these offshore rigs you will need to have the TWIC card – this is because you will need proper authorization to access the restricted maritime areas in order to do your job. Oilfield employees only concerned with inland rigs do not need to worry about having a TWIC card, as they will not need to access these restricted maritime areas.
How Can You Get A TWIC Card
In order to get a TWIC card you first need to apply for one – and meet all of the qualification requirements.
In order to qualify as eligible for the card, you first must be a US citizen or have other legal immigration status and have unexpired documentation of your status as proof. Additionally, a criminal record may disqualify you from being eligible. For example, an individual who presents a security threat, such as having a criminal record involving espionage, treason, or murder, will be permanently disqualified from having a TWIC card. Those who have less serious criminal convictions, such as theft, arson, or smuggling, for example, will be disqualified for seven years following the conviction or five years after leaving prison.
If you meet these requirements, applying is a simple process. You can simply apply online, or you can even apply in person at one of the application centers. After applying, you will be required to visit an application center in order to provide the necessary documentation, get fingerprinted, and have your photo taken for the card. Once you have completed these steps and paid the fees, the card will either be mailed to your home address or can be picked up in person at the application center.
Why You Should Get A TWIC Card
Having a TWIC card is necessary for those working on offshore rigs in the oilfield – and already possessing this card can give you an advantage over individuals who do not when applying for offshore positions. Perhaps you hadn’t thought about working offshore before, but attaining your TWIC card and finding an offshore job could be a great way to enter the industry, get a change of scenery, and even boost your income.