Historically a roustabout was known to work as a laborer either in a circus or a carnival traveling with them from state to state. As the oil industry grew, the role of a roustabout changed and became equated with working on an oil rig. In the oil industry the job of a roustabout/ maintenance roustabout is an entry level job. The job is considered the lowest ranking position on an oil rig. The pay for this position is very good for an entry level position. Most positions pay around $40,000 to $60,000 per year. The position of a roustabout is the best way to get a foot in the door when it comes to entry level positions in the oil industry. These jobs don't require a specific degree or experience. Usually roustabouts don't remain on a job for long. However, if they do, advancement to the job of roughneck is possible. The job of a roughneck entails having more job experience and responsibilities. As a roustabout, everything that is learned on the job is through hands-on experience, there is no formal training. The job of a maintenance roustabout is a very important job in requires that a candidate is in good physical condition; physicals are given before hiring. Other job requirements are a valid driver's license; knowledge of the Workplace Hazardous Information Systems; first aid training and knowledge of Hydrogen Sulfide Safety. The job also includes spending the majority of a shift on foot and working shifts anywhere from one to four weeks - time off equals time worked. In addition, a maintenance roustabout stays and works near the rig or aboard. The work can be perilous at times due to a hostile environment or challenging weather conditions. A maintenance roustabout can work on an oil rig that is located either onshore or offshore. A maintenance roustabout generally works to keep the rig deck clean and works on oil general rig maintenance. On a rig the maintenance roustabout has a team leader - the maintenance foreman. The teams of roustabouts on an oil rig are very important to the necessary continual operation of an oil rig.
Oil rigs are tough and physically demanding jobs so the people working them must be tough as well. One of the entry level positions on an oil rig is a roughneck. Roughnecks are low-ranking members of a drilling team. They are generally unskilled or semi-skilled and perform a variety of...