The only thing that gets you in shape for working all day with your hands is working all day. If your doing it now you are probably good to go. The real heavy lifting, on most jobs, is done mechanically or else guys would be getting hurt to often.
i grew up in houston where it seems like 60% of the city is involved in the oil industry and companies like halliburton,exxon-mobile, shell, chevron and tons of other "small" companies call home.
oil is indeed a good industry to work for. you will bust your ass but they do pay you for it. as far as blue collar jobs go, you can't beat it.
oil is also an industry that promotes from within. of course you'll have to have a degree to be an engineer or something, but as far as field operations and management goes, you can work your way up the ranks and pay scale pretty easily.
lots of people in the city started in blue collar level jobs and are now pulling in hundreds of thousands a year easy.
but, to get the good promotions, you will most likely have to spend time overseas at some point, usually in asia or s. america though the middle east and OPEC nations are opening up due to the war now.
i've had friends do the roughneck thing during college summers and considered it myself but had other oppurtunities more in line with my career path. (in PA ironically)
my buddies all made over $12,000 in the three month period though, and they worked 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.
so, work time considered, they worked a month and a half. not bad for manual labor.
you do bake though, and the gulf coast summers are hotter than you've experienced in pennsylvania.
another hint is that oil is definately a "good ol' boy" industry. get in tight with the bosses and people others look up to, for works sake fit in with the crowd and you'll be in a pseudo fraternity soon to be promoted.
I'm working on a masters degree in petroleum engineering right now, so I might be a little biased, but the petroleum industry is a good one to get into. Working as a rig pig is not what I'd call fun, but like was said before, it does pay ok.
And it can be used as a stepping stone to other jobs within the oil industry. Offshore the hours suck, but if you're looking for a way to get into the industry and see if you like it, it might not be a bad way to go.
you can also look in to underwater welding for rig repairs (high demand, high pay)
a cook on the rig
tons of little jobs that pay shit in most industries pay a decent amount in oil. hell, run of the mill truckers brave enough to go to the middle east are earning $100,000 tax free per year right now. they can come home in five years with half a million to invest, to buy a home, to go to college etc. for driving a truck.
and again, you can be promoted or find another sector of the market you like better and switch.
Thanks for the responce I thought I was going to be flamed for my post.
As of right now I plan on learning as much about it as I can while I get in shape.
I refuse to work in a plant my whole life, I see too many miserable people everyday who wish they did something else. I am 22 years old and feel about 42 after just 2 years in the plant. So I am defintly looking for a change.
I really wouldn't think you need to get in shape to work offshore, unless things are drastically different over there from how they are in the UK sector. You're probably going to be 14 on, 14 off or something right? So it's even not something you have to stick out 6 days a week, week after week either. Just suck it up and you'll quickly get accustomed to the workload.