"Roughneck" is a term used in many industries to describe an unskilled worker. However, it is most commonly used in association with oil and gas careers. Roughnecks, also called floormen, work in the oil fields as members of the drilling crew and perform a variety of duties. These are usually not the most desirable oil and gas careers, but they are good opportunities for those who enjoy physical labor and would like to get their foot in the door of the petroleum industry. Roughnecks usually perform the general cleaning and organizing around an oil rig. They may set up, take down, and maintain equipment. They may handle tools, cement, and other materials. Roughnecks may also connect pipe and transport materials.

Being a roughneck in oil and gas careers requires working outdoors in undesirable conditions. Since oil and gas careers can be found worldwide, the weather conditions are variable. Roughnecks may work in below-freezing temperatures, extremely hot desert environments, and everything in between. They may work on offshore drilling rigs hundreds of miles from shore. This means that the conditions can be dangerous, and hurricanes are not uncommon. Plus, the hours are long, which is common for oil and gas careers. It is not uncommon for roughnecks to work 12-hour days for weeks at a time. Therefore, the best candidates for these oil and gas careers are those who are physically fit, hardworking, and able to work continuously for long hours without tiring easily. Roughneck jobs also require you to be away from home for long periods of time, sometimes weeks or months at a time. Therefore, it may take a little time at first for a roughneck to adjust to this type of job, and individuals in this job may become homesick at times.

Despite the challenges, oil and gas careers can be exciting and high-paying. For only working a total of six months a year, the rewards are immense. The average pay is $50,000 a year plus housing and food. There are also many perks with oil and gas careers. Many companies offer roughnecks perks such as satellite TV, a gym, and other types of entertainment. Travel and laundry expenses are all paid for. Depending on the company, benefits such as medical, dental insurance, and life insurance may or may not be included. On top of that, the advancement opportunities are endless.

There are not many requirements for oil and gas careers as roughnecks. Employees must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma. For positions as roughnecks, education and experience is not as important as a willingness to work hard and learn new things. However, education and experience increase the likelihood of being hired. Taking classes in petroleum technology and gaining a solid background in the petroleum industry will help you gain the experience you need to get your foot in the door to oil and gas careers. Employers also look for dependable employees, since the work cannot get done if the employee doesn't show up to do it.

Most companies are willing to train their employees so that the employees can advance and take on more responsibilities. Being ambitious and willing to take on more work will show employers that you take your job seriously. You will be promoted to higher-level positions more quickly.

One of the perks of oil and gas careers is the opportunity to travel. Roughnecks can find themselves working in countries all over the world. Many jobs can be found in Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Although many jobs are available locally in the United States, higher pay can be found in other countries.

Oil and Gas Careers - Main

Last Updated: 09/18/2014