The Average Salary for an Oil Rig

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Some oil rig positions pay more than $50,000 per year.
Some oil rig positions pay more than $50,000 per year. (Image: NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Oil rigs, both land and offshore types, are designed to extract oil from underground wells. The oil and gas industry employs many different types of workers to staff these large drilling stations. Some positions require extensive technical experience and education, while others are entry-level jobs that offer high wages. If you are interested in this type of career, you have many jobs to choose from.

Drilling Jobs

The purpose of an oil rig is to drill for oil, and the actual drilling positions pay quite well. One of the main drilling jobs is the roughneck position. Most oil rigs hire teams of three roughnecks to operate the rig floor equipment and machines, as well as make sure everything is running properly in the mudroom. According to Rigworker, the average annual salary for roughnecks is $59,000 per year. Drillers are the oil rig professionals who are in charge of the roughnecks, as well as running the actual drill. The average salary for the driller is around $86,000 per year.

Deck Jobs

The roustabout position is typically responsible for all the general maintenance on the rig floor and decks. Roustabouts usually clean and paint, as well as help guide crane loads around the the deck. According to Rigworker, roustabouts earn an average of $55,000 per year. Crane operators are in charge of operating the crane on the oil rig, which usually entails moving loads from boat to boat and around the deck. Crane operators can earn around $69,500 per year. Entry-level crane operators work in assistant crane operator positions that have average annual salaries of $59,000 per year.

Mechanical Jobs

Oil rigs have several mechanics to ensure that all the rig floor equipment and diesel generators are up and running. They repair machines when they are down, as well as perform general maintenance on equipment. According to Rigworker, motormen earn an average of $57,500 per year. Chief mechanics make $80,000 per year, regular mechanics can earn $72,000 per year and assistant mechanics make $65,000 per year.

Non-Oil Jobs

There are many other types of positions needed to run an oil rig as well. Radio operators are in charge of oil rig communications, and they make an average of $62,000 per year. Medics are on board in the case of any injuries or illnesses, and they earn $69,000 per year. Oil rig cooks make an average of $59,000 per year, according to Rigworker.

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