"Roughneck" is a slang term that has come to mean, primarily, a worker on the drill floor of an offshore oil rig. Roughnecks are members of an oil drilling crew, one step up from "roustabouts," or rig newcomers, but one step down from the lead floorman, to whom they report. Roughnecks operate and perform regular maintenance on rig floor equipment, ensure that safety procedures are followed, and respond to emergency or well control situations situations in accordance with rig safety procedures, according to the Oil Rig Jobs website.
The annual mean wage for oil extraction workers was $27.28 an hour, or $58,240 as of 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The annual salary for an oil rig technician is $58,000 as of 2011, according to the Indeed.com website.
Depending on the employer, most oil and gas drilling workers receive health and accident insurance, sick pay, retirement plans, and paid vacations. Some employers also offer profit-sharing, according to the Michigan Jobs and Career Portal website.
Differences by Location
The annual salary for an oil rig technician in Louisiana is $44,000 as of 2011, according to Indeed.com. The annual salary for an oil rig technician in Texas or Florida is $56,000; the salary for an oil rig technician in Mississippi is $58,000; and for one in Alabama, $63,000, according to the site.
Employment in this sector is expected to decline by 14 percent through 2018, compared with 11 percent growth projected for the entire economy, according to the BLS. Growing U.S. and world economies will continue to demand larger quantities of the raw materials produced by mining, the BLS predicts, but the increased output will be met by new technologies that increase productivity and require fewer workers.