Mike Rowe Shares Lessons Learned From Oil Rig Workers in Oklahoma: ‘Opportunities Are Endless’

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Now that Mike Rowe is back on Dirty Jobs, he’s been learning a lot about different hands-on occupations around the country, and his latest lesson occurred at an oil rig.

While shooting for an episode of his well-loved show, Mike Rowe got to hang out with a crew of Oklahoma oil rig “roughnecks” that earn nearly six figures in six months. According to Rowe, these hardworking men and women see $80,000 for just half a year’s worth of work. The rest of the year they have to themselves for either working other side jobs or taking a well-deserved vacation.

On Twitter, Rowe shared a snapshot of himself with the oil rig crew. While the Dirty Jobs host stood in the foreground, the Oklahoma crew crowded close in the back in front of their machinery.

“Today I learned that a roughneck in Oklahoma can make $80K in his 1st year on the job working just 6 months,” Rowe shared. “Some guys use the extra time to freelance in other trades. Plumbing, electric, HVAC, the need is there and the opportunities are endless. Thanks guys for your hospitality.”

From the looks of the photo, the oil rig workers were just as happy to have Mike Rowe check out their operation and tell their story.

Mike Rowe Speaks to the State of Oil Rig and Gas Jobs

Since last year, Mike Rowe has been keeping a close eye on the condition of oil rig jobs in the country. In response to President Joe Biden’s executive order, Rowe stated that it was “a heartbreaker to hear them [displaced oil workers] treated in such a high-handed way.” 

The Dirty Jobs host also spoke to how displacing oil workers, like we saw with the 11,000 employees at the Keystone Pipeline, doesn’t just affect the industry. Rather, it affects all of the country, no matter the profession.

“It’s everybody that is affected,” he told Fox News. “Our country is still united, more or less, and we have a workforce that’s either balanced or it’s not.”

“When the workforce is fundamentally out of balance then the rest of us become disconnected from a thing that we rely on,” Rowe continued. “Just wait until we truly make [the oil and gas industry] the enemy and disconnect ourselves so completely from that part of our economy that we really start to see the impact,” Mike Rowe said. “Then you’ll have 330 million people involved in this conservation.”

“You will realize that the unintended consequences of a signature and the elimination of 11,000 or so jobs will ripple all the way to the coasts,” the Dirty Jobs host concluded.