...Tomiwa Oladipo Published November 2022
Are you interested in becoming an oilfield roustabout? Understanding the duties, demands, and how to pursue this career is essential. In this article, find out all you need to know about a roustabout: their responsibilities, salary, how to become one, what it takes to succeed as a roustabout, and much more.
A roustabout is an entry-level manual laborer in the oilfield and performs a variety of tasks, such as:
Roustabouts need the following skills to excel in their careers:
A roustabout needs to have the following qualifications:
Usually, you don’t need a formal education to work as a roustabout. But some employers may require a high school diploma or an equivalent (GED) with a minimum grade point average.
But if you want to advance your career, earning an associate degree in petroleum technology or other related fields is a plus.
Roustabouts receive most of their training on the job. They learn the safety procedure and specific techniques for their role while working with experienced roustabouts. They also receive on-the-job instructions on how to operate specific equipment.
A roustabout is a manual laborer in the oilfield and doesn't require special certifications but earning the following credentials will make you outstanding among other job seekers:
A forklift license is also a plus.
To work offshore, you need the following credentials:
Here’s what to do:
Most employers prefer roustabouts with a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools also offer vocational programs that equip students with the necessary skills to work as roustabouts, such as rigging and welding.
You can still become a roustabout without a high school diploma if you’re up to 18 years old.
Aspirants without a high school diploma or equivalent can still become roustabouts once they complete an apprenticeship program. Usually, these programs are offered through local communities and colleges and last between one and three years.
Students that enroll in these programs will learn the basics of oilfield work, including site layout, safety procedures, and equipment use. The programs also offer aspirants experience in the field, giving them an advantage over those that don't.
Most employers prefer candidates with prior experience over those without it.
Working as a roustabout requires operating equipment and driving large vehicles on the worksite. And as such, most employers require a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) from roustabouts.
Also, it’s essential to obtain hazardous materials permit for your CDL to work with chemicals and other dangerous substances.
Roustabouts are manual laborers on the drilling site and may need to move up to 100 pounds or more sized pieces of equipment or materials around the drilling site. So, you have to be physically fit to handle the job demands.
The O&G industry has zero tolerance for using hard drugs and alcohol, as these substances can negatively affect a worker's safety and performance.
Some employers conduct background tests on job applicants. Having a criminal record might disqualify you from becoming a roustabout.
Some job sites are located in remote areas with harsh, unpredictable situations. Besides, roustabout jobs often require working around the clock and including tasks such as responding to emergencies or repairing equipment.
Once you’re comfortable working under all these conditions, you’re one step closer to becoming a roustabout.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary range for oil and gas roustabout in the United States is approximately $ 44,730. The salary varies depending on the employer, location, education, job level, experience, and skills.
You don’t need formal qualifications to work as a roustabout. But the following skills could make you stand out among other job applicants:
Prior experience in shipbuilding, engineering, or construction could also be helpful.
Roughnecks, like roustabouts, also handle maintenance and repair. The difference is that roughnecks work directly on the drill and drilling platform.
Roughneck is a step higher than a roustabout and therefore considered more skilled. Roughnecks may also be tasked with filling in for other positions.
The roustabout or floor hand reports directly to the driller. They also assist other crew members in their duties and do other assigned tasks.
For more information on becoming a roustabout or finding floor hand jobs, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team. We're happy to chat with you about how our global energy talent marketplace can help connect you with oil and gas companies looking for hire.
You can also register here to access ongoing projects needing your skillset.