Oil Rig Worker

Help keep oil rigs running smoothly.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Oil Rig Workers do?

Life as an Oil Rig Worker is not easy. It’s dirty, physical work that exposes you to the elements of wind, weather, and water. On the other hand, it’s satisfying work that allows you to use your hands, know-how, and common sense. These skills place you on a drilling rig as the Oil Rig Worker, assisting the Oil Rig Driller or Lead Roughneck in their efforts to haul in loads of oil.

It may not be glamorous work to be a Oil Rig Worker, but it’s important nonetheless. Without you on board, the team would be one man (or woman) short. It could prove dangerous and expensive if a piece of drilling equipment snapped and you weren’t there to help out.

When equipment malfunctions, you’re quick to fetch tools and replacement parts. You also maintain the equipment in an effort to keep breakdowns from happening at all.

When things are running smoothly, you still have plenty of work to do. You scrape rust, touch up paint, and clean the deck. You’re also responsible for making sure the proper tools and supplies are in the right place at the right time. That means you bring them on deck, or use large equipment to move loads from one side of the oil rig to another.

History has shown that this can be a dangerous job, so you follow all safety precautions to keep yourself and your co-workers from harm. From slick decks to wayward equipment, there are many hazards on the job. So you observe safety procedures, wear the proper gear, and are always aware of your surroundings.


Should I be an Oil Rig Worker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Lead Roughneck, Oil Rigger, Oil Rig Roughneck, Rig Hand

    How to become an Oil Rig Worker

    Most Oil Rig Workers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gaaaa&chl=no+college+%2890%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,90,90
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