Oil rig recruitment project > Requirements

The things to know before applying for Roustabout job in offshore oil drilling industry

What many greenhand offshore oil rig job seekers that aspire to start by getting employed on offshore oil platform as Roustabout (multipurpose unskilled laborer, the lowest position on drilldeck or in maintenance department) fail to realize, is the following.

The real extent of physical load and psychological stress they are to get exposed to, and are expected to endure may go far beyond an average guy's expectations. The work is so demanding both physically and psychologically that there's a tangible percentage of greenhand entry-level Roustabouts that fail to meet the expectations of employers. Still they are to be paid salaries at least for their first rotation period. From there stems the strictness of the hiring procedure and the exactingness that oil rig crewing agencies and HR managers adopt towards the aspirants.

In fact the low-end offshore positions on oil rigs, such as Roustabout, Leasehand, Floorhand, Roughneck, Driller Helper, or whatever vacancies they offer on drilldeck (drillfloor) that are needed to ensure oil drill floor operations, involve not just having to work heavily, doing all sorts of lifting, carrying, moving around, hauling, dragging, turning upside down, displacing and otherwise handling heavy loads and pieces for long hours while helping to service/use heavy mechanism/machinery, standing by on call during the time scheduled primarily for sleep and recreation, always on alert so you could promptly join and help the shift team members on drilldeck should there rush occur. Roustabouts, and especially Roughnecks have to be ready to perform their duties under the most adverse weather conditions, regardless of the obstacles and the impeding factors like grease, dirt, movement impairing places, close crowded quarters, or limited space a rig worker should occasionally bust to operate in. Therefore recruitment specialists will closely look in your CV, whether you at least for a while had experience of finding yourself in similar conditions, say, working in coal mine as onsite laborer or in whatever position.

It's not characteristic for offshore oil drilling industry to offer permanent employment to engineers, administrative staff and supervisors, say nothing of low end positions like Roughneck or Roustabout. The point is the vacancies on every type of offshore oil rig (shallow water jack-up platform, drillship, MODU, FPSO vessel, semisubmersible etc.) get open at the time specific oilfield development or exploration project starts and get finished immediately with the specific workers and oil rig employees dismissed as soon, as their mission is completed and they are no longer needed. Therefore with employment on offshore oil rigs you have to be ready to travel at any time to the place new rig job for you becomes available. Once vacancy of a Roughneck or Offshore Roustabout found, as a successful candidate, you should be ready to rush to the place of new employment as soon as possible. And then be ready to stay far away from friends and family for months or simply relocate to the place of your new offshore rig job location, be it in Africa, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Oman, Australia or the Gulf of Mexico.

What's good about Roustabout and Roughneck opportunities on offshore oil rigs is that they don't require college degree, just High School diploma or GED certificate. Of course, availability of any kind of technical, mechanical etc. training or hands-on experience would be handy and can be regarded as advantage or as a sign of candidate's ability to learn techniques and skills quickly or mix with a new team at an easy, conflictless rate. If greenhand job seeker of Roustabout job cared to make his own research about the specifics and pre-qualifications that could facilitate his mastering his duties as per entry-level oil rig laborer job description, this could be regarded as a proof of candidate being not just physically strong and fit, but also knowing how to handle tools and instruments in general and having proven aptitude for certain operations. Say, a certificate of Rope Access Technician could say more about candidate for Roustabout position than his entire Resumé - Roustabouts on offshore oil rigs can happen to be required to perform some operations, like painting metal superstructure, in a suspended position high above the level of the sea water surface.

It's good idea to first try yourself on land based oil rigs, since Roughneck's and Roustabout's duties and responsibilities on them are basically very similar to offshore platforms, while the risks involved are exponentially lower and there is no so harsh exposure to extreme weather conditions. Though salaries on land based rigs for manual laborers are way lower, if you strive to get employment as Roustabout or Roughneck on offshore oil processing or production installations or facilities, employment in analogous positions on mainland would give you the most valuable thing recruiters ask for, when selecting candidates for pre-employment interviews. I mean experience handling the machinery, moving around the mechanisms and appliances, storing materials etc. available on oil drilling rig. Lots of such rigs offer employment in Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, well, in practically every state across the USA, in Canada, Nigeria (Africa), India, Iran etc.

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