Roustabouts


Overview

Roustabouts

Introduction

Roustabouts do the routine physical labor and maintenance around oil wells, pipelines, and natural gas facilities. Sample tasks include clearing trees and brush, mixing concrete, manually loading and unloading pipe and other materials onto or from trucks or boats, and assembling pumps, boilers, valves, and steam engines and performing minor repairs on such equipment. Roustabouts find work in approximately 30 states nationwide, especially Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Dakota, and New Mexico. There are approximately 58,500 roustab...

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$38,910

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Little or no formal training or experience is required


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Skills

Building/Trades


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Personality Traits

Athletic

Earnings

The earnings of roustabouts vary depending on the branch of the industry they work in, the region of the country, the hours they work, and other factors. Offshore workers generally earn more than on-shore, and roustabouts who work for oil companies generally earn more than those who work for drilling contractors.

Some beginning salaries are on a par with minimum wage, according to the As...

Work Environment

Roustabouts work in and around oil fields, on drilling platforms in oceans, on pipelines that transport oil or gas long distances, and at facilities that capture and distribute natural gas. In onshore oil fields or on ocean platforms, roustabouts work outside in all types of weather. On offshore rigs and platforms, they can experience strong ocean currents, violent storms, and bitterly cold win...

Outlook

Employment for roustabouts is expected to grow 25 percent, much faster than the average for all careers, through 2029, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Continuing demand for oil and natural gas resources, which will continue to be primary energy sources for decades, will spur employment growth. Turnover is high among roustabouts, especially in offshore drilling. The work is difficult ...

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