Floorhand Oil Rig

Looking for an entry-level position on an oil rig? Then maybe being a Floorhand is the job for you!

Floorhands, or “roughnecks” as they are sometimes called, are required to do whatever is asked of them by other crewmembers in order to keep the oil rig running.

This can include a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Being a Floorhand can involve taxing physical labor but is the starting point to progressing into other less strenuous work aboard an oil rig.

Want to know more? Keep reading to find out what Floorhands do, how to become one and what the career path of a Floor hand looks like:


What Do Floorhands Do?

On a drilling rig, oilfield Floorhands are hired to set up and take down equipment which can include gathering, handling, and sorting tools as well as pipes and other materials.

Under the instruction of a supervisor, Floorhands also work closely with derrick hands to perform other tasks such as mixing chemicals and inspecting equipment to ensure it meets safety parameters.

Other responsibilities may include driving large trucks to transport equipment, performing maintenance on equipment, and keeping work areas clean and safe.

Floorhands may also work under the direction of a driller to assist in drilling operations.

All in all, there is definitely no shortage of work for a Floorhand! This is why Floorhands are considered to be an integral part of the drilling rig crew.

How to Become a Floorhand

Most Floorhand positions do not require any formal training, experience or education! While having some experience with physical labor is definitely a plus, you can easily apply for a  Floorhand position straight out of high school (as long as you are at least 18 years of age).

Keep in mind the oil and gas job market is competitive, so having experience in physically demanding environments will definitely give you an edge.

If you don’t have much experience and find yourself being overlooked for Floorhand positions, you can always start off as a Leasehand. These are the individuals who perform general labor and maintenance on an oil rig.

Once you have gained experience as a Leasehand, you can advance to becoming a Floorhand. 

There are some companies that don’t hire Leasehands and instead will consider the Floorhand to be the entry-level positions. This is good news since they will be expecting less experience and you can benefit from the average pay that Floorhands receive (which is slightly higher than a Leasehand).

How Much Do Floorhands Earn?

So, speaking of the average pay for Floorhands, let’s look at how much Floorhands earn.

Keep in mind that this is an entry-level position so the starting pay isn’t going to look extravagant. However, by working as a Floorhand, you have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and work your way up in the oil and gas industry.

According to Glassdoor, a Floorhand can make an average of $32,000 annually in the United States and $42,000 per year in Canada

In the United States, the highest paying cities for Floorhands include Casper (WY), Dickinson (ND), Greeley (CO), and Houston (TX). In Canada, the highest paying cities are Weyburn (SK), Kindersley (SK), Estevan (SK), and Nisku (AB).

When it comes to benefits, the common ones offered to Floorhands typically include:

  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • 401(K) Retirement Savings
  • Tuition Reimbursement

The Career Path of a Floorhand

We’ve already mentioned that one of the best benefits of becoming a Floorhand is the opportunity for advancement - so let’s see what that looks like:

After being a Floorhand, you can move up to the position of Motorhand. Motorhands are responsible for the maintenance of engines and other machinery on the rig and can expect to make around $33 per hour.

Service rigs, however, do not employ Motorhands. Instead, those job responsibilities are left to the Derrickhand who (on both service rigs and drilling rigs), works on the platform. These positions earn an average of $30-$38 per hour.

Most Floorhands will eventually aspire to become a Driller or Rig Operator. This is a supervisory role that oversees maintenance and safety practices and is second-in-command to the Rig Manager. Drillers earn approximately $34-$44 per hour.

Lastly, you can eventually make it to the senior-most position on an oil rig: The Rig Manager. This role requires years of experience but it is certainly not outside of your reach. Rig Managers can earn a salary of over $90,000 per year.

Ready to Get Started?

Becoming a Floorhand is an amazing first step to starting your exciting and lucrative career in the oil and gas industry!

Why not start by checking out these current job postings for Floorhand positions:

You can also check out our Job Seekers page for more information on how to get your career started.