Landing a Job As a Roustabout on an Oil Rig

As a flourishing profession in today’s stagnant economy, oil and gas jobs are among the leaders in providing their workers with the best standard of living. The petroleum business is a booming industry, yet a worker shortage still exists. Even though there is a high demand for hard workers, having a list of phone numbers and addresses will not guarantee a high-paying job in the oil and gas field, especially if the desired job is to become a roustabout.

What Is a Roustabout?

As one of the main entry-level positions on an oil rig, Roustabouts are individuals are “rousted” to perform any jobs needed at the drilling rig locations. These jobs may include anything from digging ditches in the summer or winter to assisting roughnecks with changing out swabs on the mud pump. Roustabouts typically do not have the necessary experience needed to work directly on the oil rig but are still crucial to keeping the oil and gas industry running smoothly, performing tasks like forklifting and unloading drilling mud pallets, sandblasting the rig equipment, or cleaning bathrooms and the crew’s sleeping quarters.

How to Land a Job as a Roustabout

Hard work, determination and quick learning are the three primary requirements needed in order for an individual to successfully land a job as a roustabout. Additionally, those who are seeking a position in the oil and gas industry need to be able to work with a team of different personalities and nationalities. Even if one does not have the education or previous experience, oil and gas companies will hire individuals who are ambitious, hard-working and challenge-seeking. 

Roustabouts perform a variety of jobs that require strenuous physical labor. Because being a roustabout is physically challenging, individuals should make sure they are in excellent physical condition. From back-breaking labor to tedious tasks, roustabouts work 12 hours a day and can make anywhere from minimum wage to upwards of $50,000 annually, depending on their previous experience, the drilling company, work location and overtime hours. With promotion comes better compensation and higher respect. 

Where to Find Employment

Whether the job is on land rig or on an offshore well, roustabouts can find work anywhere in the world where there are oil and gas jobs, including at geothermal wells. The first step in finding a job as a roustabout is to draft up a resume and apply for available oil and rig jobs directly with the company, such as Nabors, Pioneer Drilling and Transocean. Individuals should note any technical or mechanical skills as well as any previous training that applies to the open position on their resume, including any previous experience as a welder or forklift operator. 

Oil and gas jobs tend to pay well, especially when working on an offshore rig. Individuals can search for available oil and gas jobs through online resources, and potential roustabouts can follow the company’s hiring instructions and submit their resumes via the company’s website. For those who live near an oil rig location, cold calling the company by phone or in person can increase one’s chances for landing a job on the oil rig by showing the company that the individual has the drive and ambition to become a successful roustabout.


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