Oil rig worker, oil and gas worker

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

Salary range: £18,000 to £30,000

How to become a roustabout

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship before applying to work on offshore rigs.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you’ve got experience and qualifications from engineering, construction or other areas of the oil and gas industry.

More information

Further information

You can find more details about working in the energy industry from MyOilandGasCareer.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work on a rig.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and at height.

You may need to wear protective clothing and safety clothing and use safety equipment.

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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