What Are Some of the Qualifications to Get a Job on an Oil Rig?


Quick Answer

An entry level job on an oil rig starts with the roustabout position, which simply requires a basic high school education, a willingness to learn and the ability to follow instructions. However, employers prefer skilled workers with an aptitude for working with metal, mechanics and tools. Roustabouts also need to be physically fit in order to withstand long shifts of manual labor in inhospitable work environments both on and offshore.

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Full Answer

Roustabouts perform routine work related to cleaning, general maintenance, loading and unloading operations, and providing assistance to the drill floor crew. They also ensure that rig safety procedures are in place and followed and respond to well control and emergency situations. They work in shifts 24 hours a day, sometimes under environmental extremes ranging from winters in the arctic to summers in the desert to sea storms and hurricanes.

There are about 60,000 roustabouts in the United States, with a majority working in Wyoming. In 2011, the average salary of a roustabout was $32,123, according to CareerCast.com. Roughnecks, which are a rank higher than roustabouts, earned approximately $60,000, depending on skill and experience. CareerCast.com named roustabout as the worst job of 2011, and projected a poor employment outlook for the profession, as the oil industry increasingly automates most of the routine work.

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