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Roustabout Oil rig worker, oil and gas worker

Roustabouts work on oil and gas rigs, maintaining equipment, unloading supplies and helping the drilling team.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but experience in construction or engineering could help you get a job.

You must be over 18. You'll need an Offshore Medical Certificate and emergency safety training.

You could get into this career through an apprenticeship.

My Oil and Gas Career has further advice on careers in this area.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills to operate machinery
  • excellent teamworking skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • cleaning and maintaining the deck and equipment
  • using lifting gear to unload supplies from boats
  • moving supplies and equipment to storage and work areas
  • repairing pumping equipment
  • preparing the drilling equipment

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £22,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll live and work on a rig for 2 or 3 weeks, then have 2 or 3 weeks at home. You'll work up to 12 hours a day in shifts, covering days and nights.

Platforms and rigs have accommodation, canteens and recreation areas.

You can't drink alcohol, take drugs or smoke on a rig.

The job is physically demanding and you'll work in all weathers, and at height. You may be handling hazardous materials. You'll wear protective clothing, including a safety harness.

The UK offshore oil and gas industry is mainly off the east coast of Scotland and England, but there are also fields in the Irish Sea and west of the Shetland Islands. You could also work overseas.

6. Career path and progression

Your employer will put you through safety training. With experience, you could become a crane operator, or a roughneck, who helps with drilling operations.

With further training, you could progress to be a derrickman, assistant driller or driller.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017