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Roughnecks And Roustabouts Are Well Paid For Their Work

Updated on June 1, 2011

Those who work in the gas and oil fields are well paid, but they work hard for that pay. To be successful as either a Roughneck or a Roustabout, you must be physically fit and strong. You must be able to think and act quickly, listen and take orders, make wise decisions, and work well as part of a team. You must have good communication skills and be reliable and honest.

If you get a job as a Roustabout or Roughneck, you must be comfortable working outdoors in all weathers, in a noisy, dirty, and stressful atmosphere. Working in the fields if often dangerous, and mistakes can be very costly to both the company and the victims. These jobs are physically demanding, involving lifting, carrying, and placing heavy pieces of equipment. Parts may be wet and slippery, so precision and caution are vital.

Roughnecks and Roustabouts must be comfortable working away from home and family for long periods of time. Shifts are long and the lifestyle can become tedious and even boring. Both Roughnecks and Roustabouts may work on and offshore, in all parts of the United States, as well as other parts of the world. Considerable travel may be involved for those who work in this business.

It is important to know these jobs are not only well paid, they also provide other benefits in the way of allowances for food, travel, and lodging, as well as excellent medical insurance.

The position of Roustabout is an entry level position.The work involves only manual labor, loading, unloading, stacking and storing supplies, digging trenches, and cleaning up after other crew members. Roustabouts who work hard and are willing to study and learn, can advance to become Roughnecks.

Roughnecks need more knowledge and skill. They may assemble the equipment, connect pipe, replace bits, prepare mud, clean up spills, check for leaks, dissemble equipment when the job is complete and prepare it for shipment to the next well. They keep all equipment cleaned and in working order. Roughnecks must be skilled in the use of both hand and mechanical skills. These men work under the direct supervision of the driller or the assistant driller.

Both Roustabouts and Roughnecks must be familiar with all safety and emergency procedures.

There is no specific formal education required for either of these jobs, though mechanical knowledge is an asset, especially for Roughnecks and for Roustabouts who wish to advance. If you want a job as either a Roughneck or a Roustabout, you will have to pass a rigorous physical exam as well as a drug test.

For anyone who is intent on advancing further in the gas and oil industry it is advantageous to get at least a high school diploma. Study English, science and mathematics. Take any courses available in mechanics or construction. A second language is a decided advantage.

There are many jobs available in the gas and oil industry. Additional experience and education would make these jobs available to you. To see what other jobs are available, take a look at the following site.


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    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your comments Mark - it's not surprising that those guys play hard - they certainly have to work hard too - B.

    • Mark Pitts profile image

      Mark Pitts 

      6 years ago from United States

      I worked offshore and open ocean tugs for quite a while, and the guys working the rigs were a lot of fun to be around when we all found ourselves on the beach at the same time. Now I know more about what they did when they were out. Good read.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your positive comments Scarytaff - they mean a lot from someone who knows what they are talking about - B.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      6 years ago from South Wales

      Interesting hub. Having worked on a few rigs in my time I know you've summed these jobs up pretty good.Voted up and useful.


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