How to Become a Roustabout

A roustabout is a starting position on an oil or gas drilling rig. The roustabout performs basic rig maintenance activities such as cleaning and offloading. The oil and gas industry offers a lot of advancement opportunity, but all employees on a rig have to start at the bottom and work their way up. Follow these steps to become a roustabout.

Understand that you will spend a lot of time away from your family. Oil rig work schedules typically involve working 12-hour shifts for the length of the hitch (typically between one to four weeks) followed by an equal amount of time off work.

Decide whether you want to work on an offshore rig or in an oil field. The jobs are the same, but on an offshore rig you work in the ocean and in an oil field you work on land.

Get into good physical shape. Rig work requires a lot of endurance, and roustabouts spend the majority of the shift on their feet. It's dangerous work and an employee who can't safely perform his job puts other people in danger.

Find a company that is hiring roustabouts and submit an application. You may have to wait a while to be hired because rig jobs are in high demand.

Pass all pre-employment testing. Drilling companies are drug-free workplaces--if you aren't able to fully focus on your job, you put yourself and your coworkers in danger. You may have to take physical tests to ensure that you are able to handle the physical challenges of the job.

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