Offshore Roustabout and Roughneck Jobs

drilling_crewOffshore Roustabout and Roughneck Jobs


The Roustabout job is the most common entry level occupation for an oil rig’s marine section. Most new hires in the Drilling and Marine Sections start out as Roustabouts. A Roustabout is typically an inexperienced worker who works as a trainee or helper for those in more senior positions. This position is comparable to the Able-bodied Seaman on board a ship. The Roustabout will assist with a variety of work, typically unskilled , which might include maintenance, cleaning rust removal, painting, or learning to direct the huge cranes on board.

After working in an offshore Roustabout position, people typically take one of two paths – to the drill floor, as a Roughneck, or to the Cranes, as an Crane Operator Trainee. He will start in either capacity by serving as relief during meal and coffee breaks, and then be given progressively greater responsibility.


A Roughneck ( Floorhand ) is the entry level position on an offshore rig’s Drilling section. This is the guy who handles the drilling pipes, connecting them as they drill deeper with huge hydraulic clamps. This is the physically most demanding job of the entire drill crew – one can work hard labor 12 hours straight during a drill operation. Offshore, it is easiest to get a job as a Roustabout first, and many experienced roughnecks will take Roustabout jobs offshore just to prove themselves, and learn the ropes offshore – things are a bit different out in the middle of the ocean.


Wages for entry-level Roustabouts and Roughnecks run from 50 to 60k

Getting a Roustabout Job Offshore

If you don’t have previous offshore experience, your chances are improved if you have any kind of technical work background. This can include experience as a welder, fitter, engineer, electrician, technician or mechanic. If it is possible, the best way to land an offshore Roustabout job is to apply in person – there are many unadvertised Entry-level jobs offshore. Obviously, the person whose face is in the office asking for work every week or two is going to stand out above all the other applicants.

If visiting the employment offices of offshore drilling contractors isn’t possible for you, then the next best thing is to ensure that your Resume, C\V and Cover Letter are specific to the offshore industry, and to the job you are applying for. We recommend the services of Rigworker and Oil Jobs Guide if you wish to facilitate the process and improve the odds. Many have had success when they chose to utilize the Resume \ CV submittal service from Rigworker or The Oil and Gas Jobs Resource Kit. Both charge a nominal fee for their services, $40 – $60, but they are honest, legitimate companies, and their services have been tested multiple times, with a job offer (or several) being the standard result. While they make no guarantees of getting hired, they do guarantee your satisfaction with their services, and you will get far more for the small investment than anywhere else on the internet.

To be avoided are programs that charge hundreds of dollars for the same thing.

Offshore \ Oil Rig Roustabout \ Roughneck Training Programs – Greenhand Courses

There are several training programs available designed to prepare applicants without offshore or oil industry experience for a Roustabout position. Offshore, the Roustabout position is the most common entry level job in the oil rig’s marine section. Working as a Roustabout requires one to be physically fit and capable of performing strenuous manual labor, in all weather conditions. Those without experience are termed greenhands. The term originates from the custom on some rigs to make inexperienced employees wear a green hat so that they may be distinguished to the other employees as being new, so allowances can be made for the greenhand not being aware of all the regulations and requirements specific to offshore work.

Maritime Drilling Schools Unlimited

Floorman ( Roughneck ) training. This school offers a 20 day program taught in Nova Scotia, Canada. The 20 day course of instruction in Pre Employment Floorman (Roughneck) Training will consist of  drilling programs, hands-on rig training, and industry safety programs. Life skills and job readiness will also be included during the program. This program is available for Americans. The Floorman course costs $ 3.750.00 Canadian, plus $250.00 for books and a $200.00 registration fee. Accommodations, if required, are $600.00.

Métis Nation BC (MNBC)

Pre-Employment Floorman (Roughneck) training. Probably the best program available – you will find work after completing this program. This Pre-Employment Floorman (Roughneck) Training Program will provide students with a comprehensive training program that is tailored specifically for the drilling industry. Students will learn how to safely operate and maintain drilling equipment and the job functions that are relevant to drill floor and deck crew operations. Students will also learn the skills of a Roustabout and Lease hand with a high emphasis on Oilrig safety. Training is located in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. All-inclusive cost for the course is Canadian $ 8,650 including meals and accommodation for 24 days.

Atlantic Petroleum Training College

Floorhand / Roughneck training. Training is hands-on and takes place on a working onshore drilling oil rig in Nova Scotia. They offer a certificate program in oilfield training. This program provides an opportunity for unskilled individuals to take advantage of quality hands-on training to begin a successful career in the oil and gas industry. This program provides the knowledge and skills to work safely and productively as part of an oilrig team. In addition to the core program, mandatory H2S Alive and 2-day Standard First Aid with Level A are given. Potential earnings for an individual starting in this dynamic industry can exceed $60,000 per year.