Roustabouts Work on Pipe

Roustabouts do the routine physical labor and maintenance around oil wells, pipelines, and natural gas facilities. Sample tasks include clearing trees and brush, mixing concrete, manually loading and unloading pipe and other materials onto or from trucks or boats, and assembling pumps, boilers, valves, and steam engines and performing minor repairs on such equipment. Roustabouts find work in approximately 30 states nationwide, especially Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Dakota, and New Mexico. There are approximately 71,790 roustabouts working in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Perform physical labor and maintenance around oil wells, pipelines, and natural gas facilities
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Roustabouts find work in about 30 states nationwide, especially Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Dakota, and New Mexico
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Little or no formal training or experience is required
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Building/Trades
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must have a valid driver's license; some positions require a commercial driver's license or crane and forklift operator licenses; must pass drug screenings
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Skilled Craftsworker or Machinery Operator
  • Lead Roustabout
  • Experienced Roustabout
  • Entry-Level Roustabout

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