Working as a roustabout on an offshore platform offers the prospective job seeker the opportunity of a lifetime – to break into the lucrative world of offshore employment, requiring nothing more than the desire and ability to work hard and succeed. Once employed offshore, the new offshore roustabout can take his career in a number of different directions, any one of which can form the basis of a long term career, and an adventure that his friends and family can only dream of.
There are many different careers and jobs one can take offshore. Fishing, the Navy or Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marines are some of the more well known paths to work at sea. But for many, the ideal offshore career is made a reality by getting work on an offshore oil rig, and the most common entry level position is that of offshore roustabout.
Offshore roustabouts have very different job descriptions than roustabouts working on land-based rigs, as their are many more jobs to do on an offshore platform. In fact, their are really three different types of roustabouts on the offshore rigs. These are the drilling roustabouts, the maintenance roustabouts, and the rigging roustabouts.
The drilling roustabouts serve the same function as a roustabout on land – working with the drilling crew, performing maintenance tasks helping the motorhand and roughnecks with the machinery, pipes and equipment, and once experienced, filling in for the roughneck on his breaks.
The maintenance roustabout is more like an able-bodied seaman, performing cleaning and maintenance around the entire platform, painting, even working as an assistant to the mechanics and welders. He’ll be moving supplies and equipment, working long hours outdoors no matter the weather, all the while learning the essentials of how an offshore operation works, and picking up a good foundation to decide on the many career paths available offshore.
The rigging roustabout, on the other hand, works with the offshore crane operator, rigging loads for loading and unloading onto the barge transports, and learning how to operate the offshore crane once he is experienced with the rigging. He’ll be hauling cargo around after it is unloaded, or helping distribute the load onto the barge, which typically arrives once or twice a day, often at night.
So being an offshore roustabout is somewhat of a catch all phrase for a variety of offshore entry level jobs, all of which have their own career ladder and path. For all of them, pay is very good, and work schedules, though often grueling, allow for a good deal of down time; two weeks off for every two weeks on. Benefits are usually quite good as well, and transport to and from the rigs are always paid for.
All over the world, drilling and offshore exploration is picking up dramatically, and this is a fantastic time to start working in the offshore oil patch. Projects are coming on line in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Newfoundland, Thailand, Australia, Nigeria, Brazil and many other places across the globe. It isn’t to much to say that a world of opportunity is waiting for the ambitious and hard working new roustabouts. Thousands have gotten their start this way, and you can too.