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Free Roustabout Job Training Program

Looking for a new career? An informational session on a free Greene County roustabout job training program will be held in July by the Westmoreland County Community College.

The information session is for those interested in applying for entry-level training for roustabout jobs in the natural gas drilling industry. The session will be conducted July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the WCCC Greene County Education Center, 100 EverGreene Drive, Waynesburg.

The actual training program will be conducted July 30 through August 24 by Westmoreland County Community College at its Greene County Education Center, located in EverGreene Technology Park, Waynesburg, with funding from the Department of Labor Marcellus ShaleNET grant.

The 120-hour training is a highly interactive, industry-oriented program and will be taught by expert instructors. Class size is limited to 17 students. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license, provide a criminal background check, and complete a urine drug screen, and a variety of aptitude tests. The training program is free, but each participant must pay a one-time fee to cover the costs of a drug assessment, background check, and a physical exam—approximately $150.

Roustabouts are entry-level laborers who prepare drilling sites for natural gas well drilling, set-up and operate drilling rigs, and dismantle rigs for movement to another location. They work around moving equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, and excavators, and they carry 80 pound bags of concrete and heavy pipe. The job is physically demanding and requires 12-hour shifts outside in all weather conditions. Some jobs require working 14 consecutive days; 84 hours per week, followed by 14 days off. Other jobs work 11 days on and 3 days off. Moving from site to site is required.

The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in September 2009 the average hourly pay rate for a roustabout was $16.44 per hour or an annual wage of $34,190. Offshore oil rig roustabouts earn considerably more, with wages varying by company and location. The average wage for an offshore roustabout is $24.70 or an annual salary of $51,400. Offshore benefits also include housing, meals and incentive bonuses. Rigworker, an employment resource for oil field workers reports that in 2010 offshore maintenance roustabouts received an annual average wage of $47,000. Roustabouts that work the drilling floor on off shore rigs make an average salary of $54,000. The discrepancies in wages are due to demand.

The application process for the training process is highly competitive. Applicants must register by logging onto http://www.shalenet.org/ and/or by calling the Greene County CareerLink at 724-852-2900, ext. 0 or the WCCC Greene County Center at 724-627-3464.

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