What is the Average Salary of an Oil Rig Roughneck?

Oil rig roughnecks have long stayed amidst the utmost difficult and financially rewarding positions in the oil and gas industry. Working in an environment where the physical and mental demands are extreme, rig roughnecks can expect to earn a lofty salary, mostly given their limited education or training requirements. This article will explore the salary of an oil rig roughneck, breaking down the components of the job that are taken into contemplation once calculating pay and conferring how external factors influence payment in this field.

What is the Average Salary of an Oil Rig Roughneck?

Average Salary of an Oil Rig Roughneck

The average salary of an oil rig roughneck in America is $40,000 per year. The profits array jerks from approximately $20,000 each year and can go as high as $60,000 per year. Though the uppermost verified compensation to date is $80,000 only about the top 5% earn that amount of money. The salary level depends on factors like location, experience, skill, education, etc.

Description of salary range: 

A roughneck’s work hours may vary depending on the working season and contract. Hour counts per day fluctuate between 8 hours and 12 hours, and work days per week fluctuate between 5 days and 7 days. We will calculate varying on the average 8 hours a day and 5 days a week.

If we talk about the lowest salary of $20,000 per year then we get an hourly pay rate of $10.41, a diurnal amount of $83.33, a weekly rate of $416.66, and a monthly salary rate of $1,666.66. Talking about the average salary of $40,000 per year we get an hourly pay rate of $20.83, a daily amount of $166.66, a weekly rate of $833.33, and a monthly salary of $3,333.33. Last but not least, talking about the highest income rate of $60,000 per year, we get an hourly wage of $31.25, an everyday proportion of $250, a tabloid percentage of $1,250, and a monthly rate of $5,000.

Average yearly salaries in some places:

  • Albuquerque (New Mexico) – $34,321.33, Anaheim (California) – $39,013.21, 
  • Miami (Florida) – $40,025.89, Plano (Texas) – $35,241.55, Tucson (Arizona) – $37,471.01, 
  • Cleveland (Ohio) – $37,512.20, Glendale (Arizona) – $38,025.34, 
  • Seattle (Washington) – $38,042.74, Chicago (Illinois) – $39,001.01, 
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) – $36,841.79.

Bonuses and benefits of an oil rig roughneck: 

  • Competitive Salary: Roughnecks can expect a competitive salary and the pay surges as they gain experience. A competitive salary means you will get good pay in comparison to others. If the market value gets up then the salary gets high with that.
  • Medical Coverage: Rig roughnecks stereotypically take comprehensive medical coverage, including medical, dental, and vision insurance. These insurance packages can cover from 52% to 75% of the total cost of any remedial, or dental treatment of the employee, and his family member depending on the total cost and company policies.
  • Travel Opportunities: Oil rig roughnecks can often get to travel around the world to different rigs in several nations, presenting an opening to experience new cultures and places. Depending on the work agreement with the company the worker can get from 10 to 20 days to get paid off work every year. This time can be taken to simply take a rest or go on vacation.
  • Unique Work Environment: Working on an oil rig is an experience unlike any other. Oil rig roughnecks get to work in a harsh environment where risk and prize fight each other every day, offering an exciting lifestyle.
  • Job ability and Security: Because of the high demand for oil, and the difficult process of extracting it, oil rigs usually continue in operation for long periods, offering job stability and security to roughnecks employed there. Besides that, after signing a long contract if the employer tries to fire you he has to pay a big penalty so your finances are simply looked after.
  • Retirement Benefits: Rig roughnecks can also look forward to taking advantage of their employer’s retirement plans. This can include 401(k) or pension plans, and other many more government-backed, good return policies depending on the employer.

Factors deciding the salary of an oil rig roughneck: 

  • Experience: Years of experience as a roughneck will directly affect the salary. Generally, those with more experience can expect higher salaries. Each year of experience can add up to 2% to 4% of the pay rate to the rookie-level in a compounding way.
  • Location: Where an oil rig roughneck works can have an impact on their salary. Roughnecks working in isolated parts or regions with higher costs of living may earn more.
  • Skill Set: Many oil rig companies bid spurs to individuals with specific skill sets such as welding, aviation, electricity, and other specialties. More skilled people are always highly-priced.
  • Education: Roughnecks with progressive gradations in engineering and related areas are often seen as more valuable by oil rig companies and may be rewarded with higher salaries.
  • Employer Size: Bigger oil rig companies may be able to pay more than smaller ones, but they tend to need a higher level of skill as well. Bigger the company, the bigger the salary. Companies doing a lot of import and export pay more.
  • Demand: When the oil demand is high, demand for oil rig roughnecks may increase, resulting in higher salaries. More demand will mean more salary. More demand will mean bugger salary offers 

Things to do to increase the salary as an oil rig roughneck: 

  • Certifications: Get further documentation. Having certifications in working at heights, first aid, safety, oil handling, and pipelining would give you an edge in the workshop and make you a more skilled aspirant.
  • Specialize: Take advantage of oil rig-specific training. Many oil institutions propose proficient exercises for oil rigs that can help you increase your knowledge and skill set.
  • Gain experience: Get experience. Many oil companies prefer individuals who have experience working on oil rigs, as this knowledge and experience can help a company run smoothly. Each year of experience can add up to 2% to 4% of the reimbursement percentage to the rookie level in a compounding manner.
  • Negotiate: Ask for a raise. If you believe that you have the necessary experience and skill set to justify a pay increase, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t shy away from negotiating, know your worth and ask for the proper pay that you deserve.
  • Go for a higher position: Move up the ladder. As you gain more experience and knowledge on oil rigs, you can move up the ladder and receive a higher salary.
  • Network: Network with other roughnecks. Talking to other roughnecks in the oil industry can give you an idea of which companies pay the most. 
  • Consult others: Consult aspirants who themselves are trying to be a roughneck like you. This can easily become a well-earning side hustle. Besides, you can build up a union with your students and start a small company. You can make way more as the head of your own oil rig roughneck company.


In conclusion, the average salary of an oil rig roughneck is $40,000 each year. The salary range starts from the lowest mark of $20,000 and goes as high as $60,000 per year. working as a roughneck for an oil rig can be a physically and mentally demanding job. However, the salary for a roughneck can be very rewarding and provide a great way to live comfortably. In the end, it is the dedication and persistence of the worker that drives them to success in the industry.

What is the Average Salary of an Oil Rig Roughneck?

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