The RigOne Program

Training the next generation of entry-level drilling rig crew members who are promotable, retainable, and safety conscious

The RigOne Program is a visionary project that facilitates recruitment and training of the next generation of entry-level rig crew members. Designed by and for the drilling contractors, the program advances an innovative solution for the big crew change: trained, technically educated, safety conscious and promotable new hires.

Our vision is founded on creating a realistic rig environment for new-hire induction, orientation and training. For drilling contractors, the RigOne Program offers relevant, robust and industry-driven training at a world-class facility designed by and for the drilling industry in collaboration with Houston Community College, one of the nation’s largest community colleges.

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RigOne Program – Marketable Skills Achievement Award

The RigOne Program at Houston Community College is a fast-track training program designed by the drilling contractors. This 10-week program consists of three non-credit courses:

  • Introduction to the Petroleum Industry (8 weeks, 64 hours)
  • Roustabout I (one week, 64 hours)
  • Roustabout II (one week, 64 hours)

The RigOne Program curriculum is aligned with the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) profiles. In addition, trainees earn several industry credentials and certificates. Upon successful completion of the program, trainees receive a Marketable Skills Achievement award from Houston Community College and an invitation to the exclusive RigOne Career Fair.

RigOne Facility

HCC is constructing a Safety and Skills Training Laboratory on their Northeast Campus. This training lab platform, called the RigOne Facility, replicates the essential components of the rig work environment for new hires (Offshore Roustabouts/Onshore Roughnecks). Students practice hands-on skills on the RigOne Safety and Skills Training Laboratory during the last 128 hours of the program. This provides our students with an advantage over other programs; we refer to this advantage as the RigOne Advantage.

 The RigOne Safety and Skills Training Laboratory includes:

  • Multiple level deck areas for trainees to learn safe skills in pipe and cargo handling as well as personnel transfer while working around cranes, forklifts, and air tuggers.
  • Dedicated areas for skills including material handling, tank cleaning, confined space entry, routine maintenance, and hand tool skills.
  • General rig-based safety skills such as basic first aid, firefighting, station bills and muster, and lock-out/ tag-out.

Two weeks at the Rig Safety and Skills Training Laboratory is more than just the usual training of new hires. It is an experience! Trainees confront real-life situations requiring aptitude, knowledge, and skills on a daily basis. 

Why is the RigOne program needed?

While strategies and programs for induction and orientation training abound, three historical facts have changed very little:

Retention: Newly hired employees still abandon their drilling jobs at a high rate.

Injury: IADC Statistics show that nearly 40% of rig-based accidents resulting in injury happen with crew members in their first 180 days of work.

Growth: Increased rig utilization and new construction demonstrate that the requirement for new personnel is not just numbers; it is also the need for quality personnel. The “new crew” must not only perform basic duties safely, but must also have the skills and abilities to be promoted and grow within the company.




What is the cost for the program?

Tuition for the Introduction to the Petroleum Industry course is $660. Tuition for the Roustabout I/II courses is $2,595.

Is there an age limit?

No. However, the work is physically demanding and work shifts are typically 12-hours per day.

What are the requirements?

The program mirrors the offshore industry’s employment requirements. Generally, a person must have a background clear of felonies and major misdemeanors, physical capability, and be drug-free. Additional requirements and details are presented during the Information Session. 

Is a high school diploma or GED needed?

Drilling contractors typically require a GED or high school diploma. The program mirrors this industry requirements in order to qualify.

Do you need a TWIC (Transportation Workers Identification Credential) card?

Drilling contractors frequently require a TWIC card be either “in-hand or in process” for employment. 

Will there be funding for Veterans?

HCC is working with the VA to identify ways and means for veterans to have their tuition paid. Veterans are commonly sought after by drilling contractors and are a preferred hire for them.

When are classes available?

New classes are offered each month.  

Is there guaranteed employment?

No, HCC does not guarantee employment. Drilling contractors have been part of the program because they project significant openings in the next few years. They are very interested in this program and have guided HCC.

Will class take place Monday through Friday?

The Introduction course is a hybrid course that is eight weeks in duration; students attend class one day per week for four hours and spend an additional four hours per week completing online course work. The Roustabout I/II courses are together two weeks in duration; students attend class 12 hours per day.



What campus will the training take place?

The Introduction course is currently offered at the HCC-Northeast Campus and HCC-Bissonnet Campus.

Is there a limited amount of people?

Yes. Each Introduction class section is limited to 30 trainees. Each Roustabout class section is limited to 20 trainees. 

Is there a gender preference?

No. There are physical tasks, generally involving lifting, twisting, grasping and climbing. A person must be physically fit and able to lift 50 pounds. Roustabouts move cargo and pipe under the direction of a crane operator.

Will there be a certification award upon completion?

Plans include three IADC certificates. There may be other industry certificates based on our advisory committee’s input.

Will financial aid or scholarships be offered?

We are working with HCC Foundation and other agencies to identify scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

What steps must one complete for enrollment/registration?

Potential applicants must attend a free, two-hour Information Session prior to enrollment. You may sign up for a session online or by contacting us at 713.718.7478 or

Will certified professionals be instructing the course?

The instructors will have drilling industry experience and credentials that meet HCC’s requirements for professional faculty.

Will books be provided?

All instructional materials are included in the tuition cost.


A Career as an Entry-Level Rig Crew Member/Roustabout

Nature of the Work

A Roustabout ensures the safe and proper rigging and slinging of loads lifted and moved by an offshore unit’s deck cranes and other lifting equipment. During non-crane operational modes, a Roustabout uses hand and power tools to perform maintenance and repairs to drilling rig equipment and systems and carries out general cleaning and other manual labor tasks as assigned and directed.

Employment Projections

In 2014, more than 26,000 Roustabouts were employed in Texas. Job growth is projected to be nearly 1,500 openings annually in the state through 2018. The average hourly wage for a Roustabout in Houston is $17.44 (Economic Modeling Specialists International, March 2014). Some students who completed courses in the first half of 2014 have reported annual salaries as an offshore Roustabout between $55,000 and $70,000.

Admission Steps

Before enrolling in the RigOne Program, applicants must attend a free two-hour information session on Oil & Gas Careers. During the session, applicants learn why HCC and the drilling contractors partnered to build this program, how to apply for the program, and how to register for classes. Information sessions are offered at multiple campuses across Houston.


HCC’s Global Oil and Gas Drilling Training program wraps up its first classes

Apr 17, 2014

‌Houston Community College’s visionary program to train the next generation of entry-level roustabout workers is wrapping up its first round of classes.