What Roustabout Jobs On Rigs Involve

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One of the main entry level jobs on an oil rig is that of the roustabout. It’s a job that I once did during the summer while attending college many years ago. Here are some tips on how to get a job as a roustabout on a drilling rig, offshore or  on land.

What Is A Roustabout On An Oil Rig And What Do They Do?

As the name implies, a roustabout is a person who is “rousted” at any time to to jobs around and about the drilling rig location. Those jobs can be just about anything from helping roughnecks change out a swab on a mud pump to digging a ditch in the freezing  cold or searing summer heat. Roustabouts generally don’t yet have enough experience to work on the rig floor, where the roughnecks work, but do just about everything else. They may drive a forklift and unload pallets of drilling mud additive or drill pipe, clean the crew quarters and bathrooms and paint or sandblast equipment on the rig. My memories of being a roustabout for a small independent drilling company in South Texas are of many hours of sandblasting and painting in the hot summer heat.

How To Become A Roustabout On An Oil Rig

In the old days of the oilfield, men would just drive up to a drilling rig location and ask the toolpusher if they were hiring.  Today that approach will most likely be met by someone asking you to leave the location. Now the first step to getting a job in the oilfield is to write a resume and submit it to a drilling company such as Pioneer Drilling, Nabors, Transocean, etc. List on your resume any mechanical and technical skills and training you may have, and certifications such as forklift operator, welder, H2S safety, etc you hold. You should be in good physical shape, since roustabout work is very physically challenging. You should be drug free, since you will definitely be screened.   If you are called for an interview you should dress appropriately. See the following article on how to prepare for an oilfield job interview. Oilfield Job Interview Tips

What To Expect In A Roustabout Job On An Offshore Rig Or Land Rig

Because it is an entry level, manual labor job, you may be asked to do almost any kind of hard physical labor. If the work isn’t back breaking it may be boring and tedious, such as painting and re-painting parts of the drilling rig. You will typically work a twelve hour day, with short breaks and a lunch. You may follow the same schedule as the rest of the crew, such as two weeks on, and two weeks off, or a different schedule. Roustabouts may make anything from just over minimum wage to over $50,000 a year, depending on the drilling company, experience, overtime and whether the work is onshore or offshore. As you move up the oilfield employment ladder, compensation and respect increases.  Offshore rig jobs tend to pay better, but requirements for getting hired are often much tougher.

Where To Look For Roustabout Jobs

Roustabouts are needed for drilling offshore wells, as well as on land rigs. Anywhere in the world that oil and gas, and even geothermal wells are being drilled, there are jobs for roustabouts. Service companies, such as those who set up production equipment like pumpjacks and tanks also refer to laborers as “roustabouts”, therefore you may find an oil and gas related job not on a drilling rig. Rig jobs tend to pay better though, especially ones offshore.  First start by doing a Google search for “drilling company” and see what comes up. Find the company’s human resource link and follow their instructions for submitting a resume. Try sites like Texasoilfieldjob.com for company links and job postings.  If there is oil and gas drilling near where you live, try to “cold call”, either in person, or by phone, the oilfield service companies and drilling companies in your area.

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