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Career profile Roustabout

Also known as Floor Hand, Galley Hand, Oil Field Roustabout, Production Roustabout, Rig Hand, Roustabout, Roustabout Crew Pusher, Roustabout Hand, Roustabout Pusher


Also known as Floor Hand, Galley Hand, Oil Field Roustabout

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$28,700 - $60,650 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Operations Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Keep pipe deck and main deck areas clean and tidy.
  • Guide cranes to move loads about decks.
  • Unscrew or tighten pipes, casing, tubing, and pump rods, using hand and power wrenches and tongs.
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What does a Roustabout do?

Roustabouts assemble or repair oil field equipment using hand and power tools.

In addition, Roustabouts perform other tasks as needed.

What kind of tasks does a Roustabout perform regularly?

Roustabouts are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Keep pipe deck and main deck areas clean and tidy.
  • Unscrew or tighten pipes, casing, tubing, and pump rods, using hand and power wrenches and tongs.
  • Walk flow lines to locate leaks, using electronic detectors and by making visual inspections, and repair the leaks.
  • Move pipes to and from trucks, using truck winches and motorized lifts, or by hand.
  • Bolt together pump and engine parts.

The above responsibilities are specific to Roustabouts. More generally, Roustabouts are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.

What is a Roustabout salary?

The median salary for a Roustabout is $39,420, and the average salary is $42,160. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Roustabout salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Roustabouts earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Roustabouts earn less than $28,700 per year, 25% earn less than $33,850, 75% earn less than $48,740, and 90% earn less than $60,650.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Roustabouts is expected to change by 29.7%, and there should be roughly 7,200 open positions for Roustabouts every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$28,700 - $60,650
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Roustabouts?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Roustabout are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Roustabouts typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Roustabout tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Roustabouts strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Roustabouts moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Roustabouts somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Roustabouts must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Roustabouts, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Roustabouts need?

Working as a Roustabout may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Roustabouts need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Roustabouts

  • 17.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 47.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 25.3% completed some college coursework
  • 3.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Roustabouts

Roustabouts may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as public safety and security, mechanical, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Roustabouts might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Important Abilities needed by Roustabouts

Roustabouts must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Roustabouts need abilities such as problem sensitivity, manual dexterity, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Roustabouts, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Roustabouts

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Roustabouts frequently use skills like monitoring, critical thinking, and operations monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Roustabouts, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.