daily life of an Oil and Gas Roustabout
are Oil and Gas Roustabouts happy with their job

Oil and Gas Roustabouts

Other names for this job might include Cathead Operator, Connection Worker, Derrick Hand, Derrick Worker, Dumper-Bailer Operator, Floor Hand, Galley Hand, Gang Worker, Gun Perforator Loader, Laborer

  • $38700
  • 63%
    Job satisfaction
  • Very Easy
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being An Oil and Gas Roustabout: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Oil and Gas Roustabouts do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as an Oil and Gas Roustabout or not.

Job summary

Oil and Gas Roustabouts assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools. Perform other tasks as needed.

We asked Oil and Gas Roustabouts how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


63% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Oil and Gas Roustabouts Move pipes to and from trucks, using truck winches and motorized lifts, or by hand. They Keep pipe deck and main deck areas clean and tidy.

1 of the main responsibilities as An Oil and Gas Roustabout is to Guide cranes to move loads about decks.

Some may also Supply equipment to rig floors as requested, and provide assistance to roughnecks.

A typical day for An Oil and Gas Roustabout look like this:

Load or unload materials used in construction or extraction.
Clean work sites.
Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.

We asked some Oil and Gas Roustabouts a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?60% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?0% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?68% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?98% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?55% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?41% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?19% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?68% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Oil and Gas Roustabouts do, they Clean up spilled oil by bailing it into barrels. They might also Unscrew or tighten pipes, casing, tubing, and pump rods, using hand and power wrenches and tongs.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Oil and Gas Roustabouts Bolt together pump and engine parts. and Dismantle and repair oil field machinery, boilers, and steam engine parts, using hand tools and power tools.

In addition, they Dig drainage ditches around wells and storage tanks.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Dig holes, set forms, and mix and pour concrete into forms to make foundations for wood or steel derricks.

To some Oil and Gas Roustabouts, it is also their responsibility to Cut down and remove trees and brush to clear drill sites, to reduce fire hazards, and to make way for roads to sites.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Clean work sites.
Install plumbing or piping.
Assemble products or production equipment.
Maintain mechanical equipment.
Dig holes or trenches.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as An Oil and Gas Roustabout, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Oil and Gas Roustabouts work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Oil and Gas Roustabouts work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Oil and Gas Roustabouts work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

You also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

How we can help

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Career type

Construction and Extraction
Natural Resources Systems
Maintenance, Installation and Repair

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Additional resources


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