What does a Roustabout/Roughneck do?
Roustabouts and roughnecks are based on offshore facilities such as
oil or gas rigs or drilling platforms, working as part of a team of up
to 20 people. They will generally require prior training in oil and gas operations.
Roustabouts undertake labouring tasks that help to
maintain the drilling area. These include:
- cleaning, scraping
and painting the deck, equipment and work areas
supplies from boats and moving them to storage areas
- moving supplies and equipment to the work site
lifting gear and winches to load and stack equipment
- general work in the pump room, for example helping to repair
- mixing and conditioning the lubricants ('drilling
mud') for the drill bit.
Most of the work is carried out
under the supervision of a lead roustabout.
carry out more skilled duties related to the
actual drilling operation:
- adding fresh lengths of drill pipe
as the drill moves deeper into rock
- inserting and extracting
the whole drill
- cleaning, maintaining and repairing the
- using lifting gear, ropes and winches to
carry out the above tasks.
Most of the work is carried
out under supervision of an assistant driller.
What's the working environment like working as a Roustabout/Roughneck?
Roustabouts and roughnecks work up to 12 hours a day on a 24-
hour shift rota. They normally work on a rig or platform for two or
three weeks, followed by two or three weeks’ rest period ashore.
Oil drilling rigs are small, mobile structures;
production platforms are larger, accommodating 50 to 100 workers,
where facilities include cabins, canteens, recreational facilities and
offices. Alcohol and smoking are banned. Working on a rig or
platform can be physically demanding, working in all types of
weather, often very cold, and at heights.
roughnecks are likely to wear protective clothing, which includes eye
protection, harnesses, hard hats, gloves, ear defenders and thermal
What does it take to become a Roustabout/Roughneck?
To be a roustabout or roughneck you should:
- have good
- be able to live and work as a member of a
- be prepared to live and work away from home
- be assertive and able to follow instructions
- be aware of
health and safety issues
- be physically fit
- be willing
- have basic computer skills for recording
Roustabout/Roughneck Career Opportunities
If you would like to know anything about Roustabout/Roughneck that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.Cogent
(Sector Skills Council for Chemicals, Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Petroleum and Polymers)
Tel: 01224 787800
Westhill Business Centre
Arnhall Business Park
Tel: 0870 870 4564
www.oilcareers.comEngineering Construction Industry Training Board
Tel: 01923 260 000
Facts and Stats:
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