Roustabouts (Oil and Gas) Training Programs and Schools

Jan 15, 2024

12 Min Read

1. What are the main duties and responsibilities of a roustabout in the oil and gas industry?

A roustabout is an entry-level worker in the oil and gas industry who performs a variety of manual labor and maintenance tasks on drilling rigs, production platforms or pipelines. Some of the main duties and responsibilities of a roustabout include:

1. Assisting with rig setup and takedown: Roustabouts help in assembling, dismantling, and moving equipment and supplies required for drilling operations.

2. Maintaining deck cleanliness: They are responsible for keeping the deck area clean and organized to prevent any hazards or obstructions.

3. Assisting with equipment maintenance: Roustabouts assist with routine maintenance tasks such as greasing, cleaning, and replacing parts on equipment.

4. Loading and unloading materials: They help with loading and unloading heavy equipment, supplies, pipes, or chemicals from supply vessels or trucks onto the rig or platform.

5. Painting structures and surfaces: Roustabouts may be required to paint metal structures on the rig or platform to prevent corrosion.

6. Operating machinery: They may operate small machinery such as forklifts, pallet jacks, or cranes to move materials around the rig site.

7. Setting up scaffolding: Roustabouts may be tasked with setting up scaffolding to aid in construction, painting, or repair work on the rig.

8. Assisting with drilling operations: Roustabouts may assist drillers by maintaining pipe connections during drilling operations.

9. Support for other crew members: As part of a team, roustabouts are expected to provide support to other crew members in various tasks including electrical work, carpentry, plumbing, welding etc.

10. Ensuring safety procedures are followed: Roustabouts must strictly adhere to all safety policies and procedures at all times while working on the rig site.

11. Cleaning up spills and leaks: In case of any spills or leaks, roustabouts must act quickly to contain and clean up the spill to ensure safety and prevent environmental damage.

12. Maintaining inventory: Roustabouts may be responsible for maintaining an inventory of supplies, tools, and equipment used on the rig.

13. Other duties as assigned: Depending on the needs of the rig site, roustabouts may be asked to perform other tasks such as assisting in basic drilling operations or providing relief for other crew members during breaks.

2. Why is training important for roustabouts in the oil and gas industry?

Training is important for roustabouts in the oil and gas industry for several reasons:

1. Safety: Roustabouts work on oil rigs and other offshore facilities where they are exposed to many hazards, such as heavy equipment, high-pressure machinery, and hazardous chemicals. Proper training ensures that they know how to operate this equipment safely and follow safety protocols, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

2. Technical skills: Roustabouts are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including rigging, cleaning, maintenance, and support operations. Training helps them develop the necessary technical skills to perform these tasks efficiently and effectively.

3. Equipment operation:Roustabouts work with various complex machinery and tools on a daily basis. Training helps them understand how to use these equipment properly, maintain them, troubleshoot any issues that may arise, and prevent breakdowns or malfunctions.

4. Environmental regulations: The oil and gas industry is heavily regulated when it comes to environmental protection. Roustabouts need to be aware of these regulations and comply with them while working on offshore facilities. Proper training ensures they are familiar with these regulations and can carry out their tasks in an environmentally responsible manner.

5. Teamwork: Roustabouts work in teams to complete specific tasks on the rig or facility. Training not only provides individual knowledge but also emphasizes the importance of teamwork, communication, and collaboration for successful project completion.

6. Emergency preparedness: In case of emergencies such as fires or spills, roustabouts need to know how to respond quickly and effectively. Training prepares them for emergency situations by teaching them evacuation procedures, first aid techniques, and how to use emergency equipment.

7. Career advancement: With proper training, roustabouts can gain new skills and certifications that can help advance their careers within the oil and gas industry. This includes opportunities for higher-paying positions such as crane operator or supervisor roles.

Overall, training plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety, efficiency, and success of roustabouts in the oil and gas industry. It not only benefits the individual worker but also contributes to a more productive and safe work environment for everyone involved.

3. What skills and qualifications are required for someone to become a roustabout?

The skills and qualifications required to become a roustabout may vary depending on the specific job requirements and company. However, some common skills and qualifications that are typically required include:

1. Physical fitness: Roustabouts must be physically fit and able to handle the demands of the job, such as heavy lifting, working in extreme weather conditions, and standing for long periods.

2. Mechanical skills: Roustabouts often work with tools and machinery, so having basic mechanical skills is important.

3. Basic education: A high school diploma or equivalent is usually the minimum educational requirement for a roustabout position.

4. Safety training and certifications: Roustabouts must undergo safety training to learn about potential hazards on oil rigs and how to prevent accidents. Some companies may also require certain safety certifications.

5. Teamwork: Roustabouts work closely with other crew members, so they must have good communication skills and be able to work well in a team environment.

6. Time management: Roustabouts often have multiple tasks assigned to them, so they must be able to prioritize their tasks and manage their time effectively.

7. Willingness to learn: Many companies provide on-the-job training for roustabout positions, but candidates should still be willing to learn new skills and adapt to different tasks.

8. Criminal background check: Some oil companies may require a criminal background check as part of their hiring process.

9. Ability to pass a drug test: Due to the strict safety regulations in the oil industry, many companies require employees to pass a drug test before being hired.

10. Previous experience: While previous experience is not always necessary for entry-level roustabout positions, having previous experience in construction or other physically demanding jobs can be an asset when applying for these positions.

4. How long does it typically take to complete a roustabout training program?

The length of a roustabout training program can vary depending on the specific program and individual circumstances, but it typically takes between 3-6 weeks to complete. Some programs may be shorter or longer, ranging from a few days to several months. The length of time also depends on the student’s prior experience and knowledge level, as well as the amount of practical training included in the program.

5. Are there any specific schools or programs that offer roustabout training for the oil and gas industry?

There are several schools and programs that offer roustabout training for the oil and gas industry, including:
– The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) offers a Roustabout Training Course that covers the fundamentals of working on a drilling rig, including hands-on training in basic rig tasks.
– Many community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate or associate degree programs in Petroleum Technology that include roustabout training as part of the curriculum.
– Some companies in the oil and gas industry, such as Schlumberger and Halliburton, offer their own training programs for entry-level positions including roustabout.
– Some states, such as Louisiana and Texas, have government-funded programs to train individuals for jobs in the oil and gas industry, including roustabouts. These can often be found through local workforce development boards or career centers.

6. Does a roustabout training program include both classroom instruction and hands-on experience?

Yes, a roustabout training program typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. This is because roustabouts often work in physically demanding and potentially dangerous environments, so it is important for them to have a thorough understanding of safety procedures and equipment. Hands-on experience allows trainees to practice essential skills and gain practical knowledge under the supervision of experienced instructors. Classroom instruction may cover topics such as basic drilling operations, rig maintenance, safety protocols, and environmental regulations.

7. Are there any apprenticeships or on-the-job training opportunities available for aspiring roustabouts?

Yes, many companies in the oil and gas industry offer apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs for aspiring roustabouts. These programs typically involve a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience, with experienced workers mentoring and guiding new employees. Apprenticeships and training programs can vary by company, but they generally last between 1-2 years and may lead to a full-time job upon completion. Interested individuals can inquire about these opportunities with oil and gas companies or through local trade organizations.

8. Is prior experience in the oil and gas industry necessary for someone to enroll in a roustabout training program?

No, prior experience in the oil and gas industry is not necessary for someone to enroll in a roustabout training program. These programs typically provide all necessary training and education for individuals with no prior experience in the industry. However, having some basic knowledge or skills related to general labor and construction can be beneficial for success in the program.

9. What safety precautions are covered in a typical roustabout training curriculum?

A typical roustabout training curriculum may cover the following safety precautions:

1. Hazard recognition and identification: Roustabouts should be able to recognize and identify potential hazards on a worksite, such as heavy machinery, high-pressure equipment, or hazardous materials.

2. Personal protective equipment (PPE): Roustabouts must understand the importance of wearing appropriate PPE, such as hard hats, steel-toed boots, and eye protection, while working on the rig or handling equipment.

3. Fall prevention: Roustabouts must be trained in fall prevention techniques when working at heights. This includes how to use and inspect fall protection equipment properly.

4. Fire safety: Roustabouts must understand fire hazards on the rig and be trained in fire prevention techniques, including proper storage and handling of flammable materials.

5. Rigging and lifting: Working with heavy equipment and materials requires proper rigging techniques to prevent accidents and injuries. Roustabouts should also know how to read load capacity charts and inspect rigging equipment for wear and tear.

6. First aid/CPR: Knowing first aid and CPR can save someone’s life in an emergency situation on the rig.

7. Emergency response procedures: Rountabouts should be familiar with emergency response protocols specific to their worksite, including evacuation routes, muster points, and communication procedures.

8. Environmental safety: Roustabouts must understand environmental hazards associated with oil rigs and how to prevent pollution incidents.

9. Safe work practices: Training should cover safe work practices, such as maintaining good housekeeping on the worksite, using lockout/tagout procedures when servicing equipment, and following proper hand tool usage guidelines.

10. Job-specific hazards: Depending on their job responsibilities, roustabouts may receive specialized training for specific hazards they may encounter while performing their duties, such as hot work or driving heavy machinery.

10. Are there opportunities for advancement within the field of roustabouts, such as becoming a driller or supervisor?

Yes, there are opportunities for advancement within the field of roustabouts. With experience and additional training, a roustabout can move up to become a driller or drilling supervisor. They may also have the opportunity to specialize in certain tasks, such as well testing or equipment maintenance, and become a skilled technician in that area. Additionally, some companies offer management training programs for their top-performing roustabouts to prepare them for supervisory roles.

11. How physically demanding is the work of a roustabout, and how does the training program prepare individuals for this aspect of the job?

The work of a roustabout can be very physically demanding. It often involves heavy lifting, climbing, and working in various weather conditions. Roustabouts must also be able to handle repetitive tasks and work long hours.

Training programs for roustabouts typically include physical fitness requirements and exercises to prepare individuals for the physical demands of the job. This may include strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and endurance training. Some programs may also include specific training on how to safely lift and move heavy equipment.

During on-the-job training, roustabouts will also learn proper techniques for performing physically demanding tasks, as well as strategies for preventing injuries and protecting their own physical well-being while working on an oil rig or other offshore facility.

12. Are there any certifications or licenses that are required to work as a roustabout in the oil and gas industry?

Yes, in most cases, roustabouts are required to have a valid driver’s license and certification in basic safety training, such as the Basic Safety Orientation (BSO) or similar courses. Depending on the specific job duties and employer, additional certifications or licenses may be required, such as a hazardous materials handling certificate or a forklift operator’s license.

13. Is age or gender a factor when seeking employment as a roustabout?

It is unlikely that age or gender would be a significant factor in seeking employment as a roustabout. However, depending on the specific company or job site, there may be physical requirements or safety concerns that could potentially impact the individual’s ability to perform the job effectively. Employers are legally prohibited from discriminating based on age or gender in the hiring process.

14. Do certain regions or countries have different requirements for roustabout training programs?

Yes, different regions and countries may have different requirements for roustabout training programs. For example, some countries may have specific laws and regulations for offshore oil rig workers, and roustabouts may need to complete specific safety training courses or obtain certifications before working on a rig. Additionally, some countries or companies may have their own specialized training programs that roustabouts must complete before starting work. It is important for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a roustabout to research the specific requirements in the region or country where they wish to work.

15. What type of salary can be expected after completing a roustabout training program?

The salary for a roustabout can vary depending on the location, company, and experience. On average, a roustabout can expect to earn between $20,000 to $40,000 per year. With more experience and higher levels of responsibility, this can increase to $50,000 or more. Some companies may also offer additional benefits such as housing allowances and bonuses. It is important to note that this is just an estimate and salaries may vary greatly depending on individual circumstances.

16. Is it common for companies in the oil and gas industry to provide their own specialized training programs for new hires?

Yes, it is common for companies in the oil and gas industry to provide specialized training programs for new hires. These programs are often designed to familiarize new employees with the company’s operations, safety protocols, and specific job duties. They may include classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and mentorship opportunities. These training programs help to ensure that new employees have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their roles effectively and safely.

17. How often do established roustabouts need to undergo additional training to stay up-to-date with industry standards and practices?

Established roustabouts typically need to undergo additional training at least once a year to stay up-to-date with industry standards and practices. However, the frequency of training may vary depending on the specific job duties and responsibilities, changes in technology or equipment, and company policies. Some companies may also provide ongoing training opportunities throughout the year to ensure that their employees are continuously developing their skills and knowledge.

18. Can completion of a roustabout training program provide opportunities to work internationally?

Yes, completing a roustabout training program may provide opportunities to work internationally in the oil and gas industry. Many countries have a demand for skilled roustabouts to work on offshore rigs and other oil and gas operations. With proper training and qualifications, roustabouts may be able to secure job opportunities in other parts of the world through international recruitment agencies or directly with international companies.

19. What types of equipment are typically used by roustabouts, and is this covered in training programs?

Roustabouts typically use a variety of hand and power tools, such as hammers, wrenches, pliers, drills, and saws. They may also operate heavy machinery such as forklifts, cranes, and bulldozers.

Equipment training is typically included in roustabout training programs, as these skills are essential for the job. Roustabouts are trained on proper usage and safety protocols for all tools and equipment they will encounter on the job. This ensures they are able to perform their duties safely and effectively.

20. Are there any opportunities for networking or job placement assistance provided through roustabout training programs or schools?

It depends on the specific training program or school. Some may offer job placement assistance or networking opportunities with companies in the oil and gas industry, while others may not have any specific programs in place. It is important to research and inquire about these opportunities before enrolling in a training program or school.


Stay Connected with the Latest