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Entry Level Offshore Roughneck Jobs

Offshore, roughnecks aren't truly entry level positions. For land based operations, drillers will often bring someone straight on as a roughneck who hasn't yet worked as a roustabout. Offshore, procedures can be quite a bit different, and it is mandatory that a person pull at least a few hitches as a drill crew roustabout before being moved into a roughneck, or floorman, position.

Offshore Roughnecks - Job Duties

A Roughneck ( also known as a Floorman, or Floorhand ) is the starting level position on the drill floor of an offshore rig’s Drilling section. The roughneck connects the drilling pipes on the floor as the driller drills deeper, using huge hydraulic clamps to connect each section of pipe.  Easily the most demanding physically of all the jobs on a drill crew, typical shifts are 12 hours long during a drilling operation. 

Offshore, one is sometimes better off by taking a Roustabout position first, then learning the ropes in an offshore environment.  Many oil rig roughnecks with a good deal of land-based drilling experience will take Roustabout jobs offshore in order to demonstrate the types of workers they are, as well as master the varying procedures and protocols offshore.  Things are done differently in many ways, in comparison to land-based ops.

After gaining experience as a roughneck, the next step up the ladder will be that of motorman, followed by derrickhand, assistant driller, and driller, with a stint as mudman usually somewhere in there as well.

If the prospect of getting hired on as an offshore roustabout is something that appeals to you, you can learn where to apply here for offshore roughneck jobs.


Earnings for roughnecks offshore typically run around 60 - 70 thousand on an annual basis.  

Getting a Roughneck Job Offshore

Having any kind of experience with jobs where you work with your hands is a huge plus. Mechanical, engineering, welding, rigging, heavy equipment, and so on.  Working as a roustabout offshore is also a fast-track towards getting some time on the drill floor. 

If you are in the U.S., the fastest method of getting hired is usually applying in person at the drilling contractors in Houston, TX and Lafayette, LO.  In other countries where offshore operations are taking place, the same holds true - find the names of the offshore contractors, and apply in person.  There are a number of advantages doing it this way, but the biggest is simply that there are often unadvertised openings that need filled yesterday, and if you go in person, you stand a shot at getting hired on the spot.

If applying in person isn't an option, then the next step is simply applying to drilling contractors individually, either online or by snail mail.  Most of the mid to large companies have online applications.  You can do this one at a time, or utilize the services of a company such as Rigworker, which will forward your resume to around 1200 energy and drilling companies, after ensuring that your resume meets the format that these companies typically prefer. 

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