Roustabouts (Oil and Gas) Certification Requirements and Hiring Process

Jan 15, 2024

10 Min Read

1. What is a roustabout and what do they do in the oil and gas industry?

A roustabout is an entry-level laborer who is responsible for general maintenance and cleanup work in the oil and gas industry. They work on drilling rigs, production platforms, and pipelines, performing tasks such as heavy lifting, cleaning and painting equipment, loading and unloading supplies and materials, operating small machinery, and assisting with various construction projects. They also help to set up and maintain drilling equipment, repair pipelines and perform other manual tasks as needed. Roustabouts are crucial to the smooth operation of oil and gas facilities by supporting the more skilled workers on site.

2. What are the minimum certification requirements to become a roustabout?

The minimum certification requirements to become a roustabout may vary depending on the employer and location, but typically include a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may also require additional certifications, such as basic safety training (BST) and Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET). It can also be beneficial to have experience in construction, mechanics, or other physically demanding work.

3. Are there any specific training or educational programs that can be helpful for aspiring roustabouts?

Yes, there are several training and educational programs that can be helpful for aspiring roustabouts. These include:

1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) courses: Many employers require their roustabouts to have a basic understanding of safety and health regulations in the oil and gas industry. OSHA offers various online and in-person courses on subjects such as general industry safety, hazard communication, respiratory protection, and more.

2. Petroleum Education Workforce Development Program (PEWDP): This program, offered by the American Petroleum Institute (API), provides training to individuals who are interested in working in the oil and gas industry. It covers topics such as drilling operations, rig equipment, well control, safety management systems, and more.

3. Community or technical college programs: Some community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs related to the oil and gas industry, such as petroleum technology or energy production technology. These programs cover topics like drilling, production operations, instrumentation, safety regulations, and more.

4. Trade schools: Trade schools or vocational institutes may also offer specialized training programs for roustabouts in the oil and gas industry. These programs may include hands-on training in areas such as welding, heavy equipment operation, electrical maintenance, etc.

5. Apprenticeships: Some employers may offer apprenticeships for aspiring roustabouts where they can learn on the job under the guidance of experienced workers. These programs typically last 1-2 years and may include classroom instruction as well.

It is recommended to research and choose a program that aligns with your career goals and interests before enrolling. Additionally, gaining relevant experience through internships or volunteer work can also be beneficial for aspiring roustabouts.

4. What are some common entry-level job duties for roustabouts?

1. Assisting in the setting up and dismantling of drilling rigs.
2. Loading and unloading equipment and materials onto trucks or boats.
3. Transporting materials to various locations on the rig using hand tools or heavy machinery.
4. Cleaning and maintaining equipment, tools, and work areas.
5. Assisting with the mixing and pouring of cement for wellbore construction.
6. Maintaining supply of drilling fluids by mixing chemicals and additives as needed.
7. Operating a variety of oilfield equipment, such as pumps, compressors, generators, and hoists.
8. Performing general labor tasks as needed, including digging trenches, laying pipes, and securing pipes with clamps.
9. Assisting in minor repairs and maintenance of machinery, equipment, and facilities.
10. Ensuring compliance with safety regulations at all times while on duty.

5. Are there any physical requirements for this role, such as being able to lift heavy equipment or work in extreme weather conditions?

Yes, there may be physical requirements for this role depending on the specific tasks involved. Some common requirements may include being able to lift and carry heavy objects, standing or walking for extended periods of time, and working in various weather conditions. It is important to confirm the specific physical requirements with your employer before accepting the job.

6. Is previous experience in the oil and gas industry required to become a roustabout?

No, previous experience in the oil and gas industry is not required to become a roustabout. However, possessing relevant skills and mechanical abilities can be advantageous when applying for these positions. On-the-job training is often provided for those starting out as a roustabout.

7. Do employers provide on-the-job training for new roustabouts, or is previous experience necessary?

Employers typically provide on-the-job training for new roustabouts. Previous experience is not always necessary, as long as the individual has the physical capabilities and willingness to learn the job. However, having some relevant skills or previous experience may make a candidate more competitive during the hiring process.

8. Is it necessary for roustabouts to have knowledge of various types of tools and machinery used in the oil and gas industry?

Yes, it is necessary for roustabouts to have knowledge of various types of tools and machinery used in the oil and gas industry. This is because roustabouts are responsible for performing a variety of manual labor tasks on drilling rigs and other equipment in the oil and gas industry. This may include setting up and maintaining equipment, operating machinery, and using hand and power tools to assist with drilling operations. Therefore, having knowledge of these tools and machinery is important for roustabouts to effectively perform their job duties safely and efficiently.

9. What are some of the common skills that employers look for when hiring roustabouts?

1. Physical strength and endurance: Roustabouts often perform physically demanding tasks such as lifting heavy equipment and materials, working at heights, and operating machinery. Employers look for candidates who are in good physical condition and able to handle the demands of the job.

2. Technical skills: Knowledge of basic hand tools, power tools, and rigging techniques is essential for roustabouts. Employers often seek candidates with experience in mechanical or construction work.

3. Basic safety training: Roustabouts work in potentially hazardous environments, so employers prioritize applicants who have completed safety training courses such as OSHA 10 or 30-hour certification.

4. Teamwork and communication skills: Roustabouts must be able to work well with others as they are part of a team responsible for completing tasks efficiently and safely. Good communication skills are also necessary to take direction from supervisors and report any issues or concerns effectively.

5. Problem-solving abilities: Roustabouts encounter various challenges on the job, whether it’s troubleshooting equipment malfunctions or adapting to changing weather conditions. Employers seek candidates who can think critically and find solutions to problems quickly.

6. Time management skills: Oil rigs and other energy production facilities operate around the clock, so roustabouts must be able to manage their time effectively to complete tasks within tight deadlines.

7. Willingness to learn: Many roustabout positions require little prior experience, so employers often prioritize candidates who demonstrate a strong willingness to learn new skills and adapt to different tasks.

8. Forklift or crane operation experience: Some offshore roustabout positions may require operating heavy machinery such as forklifts or cranes. Employers may give preference to candidates with previous experience or certifications in these areas.

9.Popular certification courses: OSHA HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response), Confined Space Entry Training, First Aid/CPR/AED Certification

Additionally, having a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record may also be a requirement for some roustabout positions.

10. Are there any safety certifications or training required for roustabouts, given the potential hazards of working in the oil and gas industry?

Yes, most oil and gas companies require roustabouts to undergo safety certifications and training before they begin work. These trainings may include proper handling of equipment, emergency response procedures, first aid and CPR training, hazard communication, and any other necessary safety protocols specific to the company or worksite.

Roustabouts are also required to comply with all relevant safety regulations and standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies. Failure to follow these safety protocols can result in serious injury or even death.

In addition to initial safety training, roustabouts may also be required to participate in ongoing safety meetings and refresher trainings to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest safety guidelines and procedures. This is essential for maintaining a safe work environment in an industry where accidents can have severe consequences.

11. How long does it typically take to complete training and become certified as a roustabout?

The length of time it takes to become certified as a roustabout can vary depending on the training program you choose and your individual learning pace. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete the necessary training and certification requirements. Some programs may also have an apprenticeship component that can add additional time to the training process.

12. Are there any organizations or associations that offer certifications specifically for roustabouts?

Yes, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) offers the Roustabout Competency certification specifically for roustabouts. The Petroleum Industry Training Service (PITS), part of OPITO, also offers a Basic Roustabout Training and Assessment course, which results in a certificate of competence upon completion.

13. Is there a high demand for roustabouts in the current job market?

The demand for roustabouts may vary depending on the specific industry and location. In industries such as oil and gas, there may be a high demand for roustabouts, especially during periods of increased production. However, with advances in technology and automation, the overall demand for roustabouts may decrease in the future. It is important to research the current job market in your desired location to determine the demand for roustabouts.

14. What is the typical salary range for entry-level roustabouts?

The typical salary range for entry-level roustabouts can vary depending on location, company, and level of experience. However, the average salary range is between $30,000 to $40,000 per year. Some companies may offer hourly rates instead of annual salaries, which can range from $15 to $20 per hour. Salaries may also increase with additional training and experience in the field.

15. Do companies prefer to hire local candidates or is relocation possible for this role?

It depends on the company and the role. Some companies may prefer to hire local candidates for convenience and cost-saving reasons, while others may be open to relocating a strong candidate who is not local. It is always best to research the specific company and role you are interested in to determine their preferences. Also, consider networking and reaching out to current employees or human resources for more information about relocation possibilities.

16. Are there any opportunities for career advancement within the role of a roustabout?

Yes, there may be opportunities for career advancement within the role of a roustabout. With experience and demonstrated skills, a roustabout can move up to become a driller or derrickhand, and eventually progress to positions such as toolpusher or rig manager. Additionally, some companies may offer training or education programs to help employees advance their skills and move into more specialized roles.

17. Can individuals with criminal records still qualify for certification and employment as a roustabout?

It is possible for individuals with criminal records to qualify for certification and employment as a roustabout. However, this may depend on the specific company’s policies and the severity and nature of the individual’s criminal history. Some companies may conduct background checks as part of the application process, while others may have specific requirements regarding criminal records. It is important for individuals with criminal records to disclose their history during the application process and be prepared to explain any mitigating factors or rehabilitation efforts that have taken place since the offense occurred. Ultimately, it will be up to the individual company to determine if they are willing to hire someone with a criminal record.

18. What are some common application requirements when applying for jobs as a roustabout?

1. Must be at least 18 years old
2. Ability to work in physically demanding and outdoor environment
3. High school diploma or equivalent
4. Previous experience in manual labor or related field
5. Valid driver’s license
6. Basic knowledge of hand and power tools
7. Ability to follow safety procedures and guidelines
8. Good communication skills
9. Teamwork skills
10. Ability to pass a drug test
11. Willingness to work long hours and on weekends or holidays if necessary
12. Willingness to travel to different job sites
13. Basic understanding of oilfield operations
14. Physical strength and stamina
15. First Aid/CPR certification (optional)
16. Knowledge of rigging and lifting equipment (optional)
17 . Proficiency in reading and interpreting blueprints, diagrams, and schematics (optional)
18 . Hazardous materials handling training (optional).

19.May require drug screening ?

Drug screening refers to the process of testing a person’s biological sample (such as urine, hair, or blood) to detect any presence of drugs or related metabolites. This is often required by employers, government agencies, or schools to ensure that individuals are not using illicit substances which may affect their performance or pose a safety risk.

Some individuals in certain professions may also be required to undergo drug screening periodically as part of their job requirements. This could include healthcare workers who handle controlled substances, employees in transportation or safety-sensitive roles, or law enforcement officers.

Drug screening can also be requested as part of the hiring process for a new job or during routine medical exams. In some cases, drug screening may be done randomly to ensure ongoing compliance with drug-free policies.

The decision to require drug screening is often made by the organization or employer and can vary depending on their specific policies and regulations.

20.How important is having strong teamwork skills in this type of position?

Having strong teamwork skills is extremely important in any position, but it is especially crucial in this type of position. As a part of a team, employees need to work together and communicate effectively to achieve common goals. In this type of position, teamwork helps to streamline processes, reduce errors and ensure that tasks are completed efficiently. Strong teamwork skills also promote a positive work environment, boost morale and create a sense of unity among team members. Without good teamwork skills, it can be difficult for the team to function effectively and achieve success. Therefore, having strong teamwork skills is essential for success in this type of position.


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