Roustabout

Alternative titles for this job include Oil rig worker, oil and gas worker

Roustabouts work on oil and gas rigs, maintaining equipment, unloading supplies and helping the drilling team.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 48 a week

You could work

days / nights / weekends on shifts

How to become a roustabout

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could do an engineering apprenticeship before applying to work on offshore rigs, for example:

  • an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship
  • a maintenance and operations engineering advanced apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you've got experience and qualifications from engineering, construction or other areas of the oil and gas industry.

More Information

Further information

You can find more details about working in the energy industry from MyOilandGasCareer.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • problem-solving skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a roustabout, you will:

  • clean and maintain the drilling deck and equipment
  • prepare drilling equipment between operations
  • fit together casings, drill pipes and tubing
  • check flow pipes for leaks and report them
  • clear up spills
  • mix chemicals used to protect the drilling equipment
  • help technicians to repair pumps, drills and leaks
  • operate lifting gear to unload and store supplies and equipment

Working environment

You could work on a rig.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and at height.

You may need to wear protective clothing and safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Your employer will put you through safety training. With experience, you could become a crane operator, or a roughneck, who works on drilling operations.

With further training, you could become a derrickhand or driller, or be a commercial diver, repairing drill pipes underwater.

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