Roustabouts, Oil and Gas Career Video
Description: Assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. Perform other tasks as needed.
Despite their colorful name, roustabouts do some of the most down to earth work there is. Roustabouts work at oil fields and off-shore rigs on a variety of tasks to keep the oil flowing and operations safe. They assemble and disassemble pipes, pumps, and engines; load and unload trucks; search out leaks and repair equipment. They also guide cranes, and, when working in oil fields, dig holes for oil derricks, and drainage ditches. Clean up is a frequent, daily task on the job. Typically, oil and gas workers spend long weeks outdoors in all types of weather. They must pay close attention to safety, for their sake as well as those around them. Protective clothing such as hard hats, gloves, and coveralls are necessary most of the time, and all-weather gear is worn when the weather requires it. Roustabouts’ work schedules may depend on weather conditions and production demands. They often work on contract, so may have gaps in employment. There are no formal education requirements for roustabouts, but many have a high school diploma or have taken some college classes. They need general mechanical knowledge and familiarity with tools, and most skills can be learned on the job.