Thursday, March 18, 2010

Offshore Roustabout Jobs: What do Offshore Roustabouts Do?

Building and construction sites always need roustabouts - as do offshore oil rigs.  These are the backbone of the rig, serving utility positions and filling in as general laborers.  Roustabouts do the dirty work, yes, but they are also incredibly valuable to offshore oil rigs.  The site cannot function without them.  Because of this, offshore roustabout jobs are in high demand and pay well. 

Offshore roustabouts are required to perform tasks like painting, cleaning, montoring pumps and other equipment, mixing and drilling of mud, and helping crane operators.  Roustabouts are also typically in charge of moving supplies around the deck.  The hardest demand of an offshore roustabout job is cleaning and painting the rig. 

To become a roustabout, one needs to be in very good physical fitness and have good endurance.  Very little previous qualifications are necessary; particularly in North America, companies do not often have education requirements.  Sometimes companies will pay for the certifications that you need before taking the position.  The main thing you need to work as a roustabout is a good attitude, positive outlook, and a strong work ethic and desire to perform well.

Before starting your first contract, you will need to take courses for a medical certificate, survival certificate, and underwater escape training.  You will also be required to do an in-house safety training induction course.  Keep in mind that depending on where you are hired, this will vary.  Certain countries have more demanding requirements.  

When you are making your roustabout job application, remember that this is a labor-intensive position.  Roustabouts are expected to do all the grunt work on a ship, and while this varies, it is always going to be physically demanding.  Don't put as much emphasis on qualifications in other areas or work experience unless you know that is what the offshore oil rig job company wants specifically.  Instead highlight your physical jobs and fitness. 

Getting started looking for offshore oil rig jobs, whether offshore roustabout jobs or otherwise, requires that you understand the process of getting hired for an oil rig.  Sometimes you can luck out and find job listings in the paper; these will often advertise under a 7&7 or 14&14 posting.  Like other workers on an offshore oil rig job, you'll be given generous time off - usually working 1-3 weeks and then getting 1-3 weeks worth of paid vacation time.

Most of the high end crew members on an offshore rig started as roustabouts; there is no shame in the work.  It is an important position to start out in for entry level offshore oil rig work and is necessary to learn how life on an offshore oil rig works.  Expect to spend your first years as a roustabout, with the promise of great pay, good benefits, and lots of vacation time. 

Good starting companies to apply for include:

  • Dolphin Drilling (Tananger, Norway)
  • Thule Drilling ASA
  • Diamond Offshore (Houston, USA)
  • Frigstad Offshore (Singapore)

How to Find and Get Hired for Offshore Oil Rig Jobs

This can be a tough and intimidating thing if you have never worked in the oil industry before.  It is actually not that hard if you know the right people and get the right resources to help you find offshore oil rig jobs.  Even entry level, you have a decent shot at offshore work because rigs need employees - especially roustabouts.

Having a resume is a good idea, but many recruitment agencies will help you set one up.  Some even show you the best things to put on a resume as a roustabout or deckhand.

No matter what type of offshore oil rig jobs you are looking for, remember that it will take some time to learn the ropes and network with companies.  Be prepared to spend long hours at sea if you get hired, and spend a lot of time away from your home/family should you have one.