Floor Hand Oil Jobs: Drilling Crew Positions & Floor Hand Employment Back to Articles

After putting in time as a lease hand on a land based oil rig expect your first promotion to be to floor hand. Floor hands, also known as roughnecks, are oil rig crew members whose primary workstation is on the rig floor. A physically demanding position in the oil industry, floor hand work often includes assisting in the rig movement, repairing and maintaining oil rig drills and equipment and assisting the Motor Hand when needed. Though not as low in the pecking order as a lease hand, floor hands are still expected to do general housekeeping on the rig floor, digging ditches and performing a wide variety of manual labor tasks in harsh conditions. A typical floor hand will have many duties and responsibilities including relieving Derrick Hands and Motor Hands for breaks. This means a skilled floor hand will be adept at handling all rig equipment, tools and machinery and will be able to step in and relieve other workers when needed. When not assisting other crew members, floor hands are often responsible for collecting core and cutting samples, general maintenance of draw works, rotary transmissions and rotary table oils, chipping and painting on the rig floor, inspection of all safety equipment, mixing sack chemicals, running casing and cleaning out mud pits on a monthly basis. To be successful as a floor hand on a land based oil rig a person must possess basic math skills, be good with mechanical systems, have a high commitment to safety standards and be versatile when it comes to daily work assignments. An oil floor hand will be asked to do many jobs in a typical work day and the more flexible you are the better chance you have of succeeding as a floor hand and eventually being promoted to Motor Man and/or Derrick Hand. In addition to the many general labor jobs, a floor hands is also usually in charge of evacuating the rig floor during emergencies and assist in rescue operations when other crew members are in danger. Situations that may occur include but are not limited to well bore influxes, hydrogen sulfide detection, and major mechanical or structural failures and malfunctions. Wages for floor hands can vary depending on your level of experience, how long you’ve been with a particular company and if you’re a new hire to an existing rig crew. An average floor hand wage is usually between $45,000 and $50,000 USD. As with lease hands, floor hands can expect to be offered plenty of overtime opportunity which can push an annual floor hand wage to $60,000 and higher.
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