Offshore roustabout

roughneck roustabout lead roustabout
Engineering
Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would keep the drilling equipment and area working properly on offshore facilities such as oil and gas rigs and drilling platforms.

As a roustabout, you would do basic labouring tasks to help keep the drilling area in good working order. A lead roustabout would supervise your work.

You would:

  • Clean, scrape and paint the deck, equipment and work areas
  • Offload supplies from boats and move them to storage areas
  • Move supplies and equipment to the work site
  • Use lifting gear and winches to load and stack equipment
  • Help to repair pumping equipment
  • Mix the 'drilling mud' to lubricate the drill bit

As a roughneck, you would carry out more skilled duties as part of the actual drilling operation.

You would:

  • Add fresh lengths of drill pipe as the drill moves deeper into rock
  • Insert and extract the whole drill
  • Clean, maintain and repair the drilling equipment
  • Use lifting gear, ropes and winches

You need to be able to work and live as part of a team and be aware of health and safety rules.

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically live and work on a rig or platform for two or three weeks, followed by two or three weeks’ rest period onshore. You would work up to 12 hours a day on a 24-hour shift rota.

Environment

You could work on a fixed production platform with up to 100 workers, or on a smaller mobile rig in a team of around 20 people. Facilities can include living accommodation, canteens and recreation areas. Alcohol and smoking are banned. The job can be physically demanding, working in all types of weather conditions and at heights. You would need to wear protective clothing, including a harness, ear defenders and a thermal boiler suit.

Travel

You would typically live and work on a rig or platform for two or three weeks, followed by two or three weeks’ rest period onshore.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Taking the lead
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

A common route into the industry is through an apprenticeship scheme.

Employers may look for qualifications at SCQF levels 4-6 for entry to an apprenticeship. For entry to an apprenticeship you would normally need to sit an aptitude test.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Science subjects (required by many courses and employers)
  • English
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering science

You will also need

  • An offshore survival course such as basic offshore safety induction and emergency training certificate (BOSIET)
  • To pass an offshore medical certificate
  • To pass colour vision tests
  • To be aged at least 18 years old for most offshore jobs

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience working with shipbuilding, construction or engineering is helpful.

Once in a job you may be able to gain relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications such as the Offshore Drilling Operations (SVQ levels 1/2/3) developed with Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) or a qualification through the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) would be useful.