Roustabout Jobs and Career Opportunities

Are you looking for a contracted or full-time roustabout position within the global energy industry?

On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about finding a roustabout position, including details on the responsibilities and qualifications you’ll need.

What does a roustabout job entail?

A person in a roustabout position is responsible for labouring work - mostly on the manual aspects of oil rig operation. Roustabouts ensure the safety of the wider crew by keeping the drilling area tidy and in good working order. 

This role involves assisting in the operations necessary for keeping an oil and gas facility clean and safe. Some projects take place on land, but drilling roustabouts are often required to work offshore. 

Working as a roustabout does have a progression path and after gaining sufficient experience you may be able to gain promotion to the post of lead roustabout or to higher-skilled jobs such as derrickhand or driller within 5 years. The oil and gas industry operates throughout the world so you may also be able to work overseas.

Responsibilities for a roustabout typically include:

  • Keeping work areas and decks clean and tidy
  • Scraping and painting areas when necessary
  • Carrying out basic repairs to equipment
  • Offloading supplies from boats and moving them into storage areas
  • Loading and stacking equipment using lifting gear
  • Doing general work in the pump room (e.g. helping to repair mud pumps)
  • Assisting with the mixing of chemicals.

What qualifications do I need?

You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful. 

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to work offshore.
  • You must also have completed the OPITO Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) course and have an Offshore Medical Certificate.
  • Normally, you need previous work experience in a manual or active job so experience in the construction industry or the armed forces is ideal.
  • Several years of roustabout experience is preferred for many senior roles, as well as experience in the oil and gas industry. 
  • You should be fit as this job involves climbing, lifting and using heavy equipment.
  • A forklift truck licence would be beneficial but not essential.
  • You would have to pass a medical examination every 2 years. 

To work for oil and gas companies offshore, you must have the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Certificate (BOSIET). Many people do the course at their own expense before looking for work. In other cases, some companies sponsor new employees through the course. 

You may begin with induction training ashore, covering information on the industry and the company, health and safety and skills training including working at heights and using lifting equipment. You want to have good levels of common sense and awareness and a great work ethic. 

Who employs roustabouts?

Roustabout vacancies are advertised by major oil companies around the world. There are many international hotspots so it’s common for employers to recruit new talent internationally. The UK oil and gas industry is located mainly off the east coast of Scotland and England, but there are also fields west of Shetland and in the Irish and North Seas. The main recruitment contacts in Scotland are in the Aberdeen area.

Typical employers include:

  • Operating companies (usually oil companies) that hold exploration and production licences
  • Drilling companies with contracts to do drilling work
  • A wide range of other major contractors and companies offering specialist technical services.

How can Airswift help me find a roustabout job?

Airswift is a recruitment company that understands the demanding nature of the energy, process and infrastructure sectors. We’ve helped thousands of roustabout candidates find jobs worldwide for over 40 years and we have more than 60 offices across the globe.

Airswift is a global entity with head offices in Houston, Manchester and Singapore. We can help you find onshore and offshore roustabout jobs in countries all over the world. 

If your job requires you to relocate overseas, we can make the transition as smooth as possible. We can provide support for travel, documentation, housing and more. 

Find out more about our relocation services

Are you an employer looking for a roustabout to join your company?

If you’re an employer or hiring manager looking for talent to fill your roustabout positions, we can help. Airswift can take care of all details when it comes to HR such as:

  • Contract negotiation 
  • Background checks  
  • Drug screens

This will give you more time to run your business. 

Learn more about our services

Contact Airswift 

Get started with your job search by uploading your CV on this page, or create an account on our jobs board to receive roustabout job alerts. We look forward to helping you find your next job!

What other candidates say

“Individuals have gone the extra mile to ensure that my needs and concerns have been dealt with in a most professional manner. In my opinion, no company has conducted itself in a more professional manner than Airswift.”

“Whenever I had a question there was always someone there to answer it. My old company ‘forgot’ about me after I had started but, Airswift has always been there. I’m very pleased.”

“I have talked to several different agencies and none of them have been as great as Airswift!!”


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Previous roustabout positions we have filled

  • Production Roustabout
  • Roustabout
  • Roustabout/Labourer 
  • Lead Roustabout
  • Night Shift Roustabout 
  • Roustabout Hand
  • Roustabout/Seaman