Although the term roughneck is sometimes used interchangeably with roustabout, they are not usually the same jobs. Roughneck generally refers to the first entry-level job where a worker is allowed to give hands-on support to higher-level drilling crew members. For example, the roughneck learns how to guide the lower end of drill tubing into the wellbore. Roughneck also help repair well drilling equipment and do general chores, as assigned, similar to roustabouts.
Pay generally starts at $14.00-$15.00 per hour, but can go above $20.00 per hour with experience, and/or offshore and in remote locations.