Work Life

Drilling rigs are known to have a wide range of needs. Since Mud ranks as one of the top needs on-site, "Mud Hands" can have a variety of work schedules. Continue below for the three most common schedules worked out in the field.

24 Hour Fluids Service

When contracted for 24 hour service, Mud Hands frequently keep "2 by 2" work schedules. This means that a Mud Hand will spend 2 weeks in the field working on a rig before earning 2 weeks off. While on the rig, a 24 hour Mud Hand will typically live out of a trailer located onsite. Depending on the site, living quarters can range from spacious to cozy but in either case they are generally comfortable. Often times a Mud Hand is provided with their own private bedroom and bathroom which can make rig life a bit more enjoyable. Finally, when at the end of their 2 week rotation, a partner (called their relief) will come and replace them. For those who want to enjoy large blocks of time off, this work schedule can be very attractive.

Multi-Rig Service

When servicing more than one rig, Mud Hands will have to satisfy a number of rig supervisors. To do this, regular visits are made out to each rig, often in the course of a single day. While at each rig, Mud Hands will manage the Mud as efficiently as possible in order to make the best use of their time. Although rig management can be a juggling act at times, Mud Hands who service more rigs get better pay. Benefits of this type of work include; being relatively close to home, receiving a company work vehicle, and having time off at the end of the day. In all, multi-rig Mud Hands usually end up with a wealth of field knowledge which can help them out later in their career. If your plan is to become a consultant, it may be best to start with multi-rig service.


Many consider offshore jobs to be the "cream of the crop" in the industry. For Mud Hands, this often depends on the type of rig that they are assigned to. Some offshore rigs come equipped with fully racked gyms and top notch galleys while others offer just the bare necessities. Overall, experience gained when working offshore is unmatched in terms of acquiring the widest variety of skills in the shortest period of time. The typical work schedule for an offshore Mud Hand is "4 on and 4 off," where 4 weeks are spent on the rig with a partner before 4 weeks are earned off. Because of this, salaries for offshore Mud Hands tend to be higher even though their work load ends up being about the same. For those looking to build a solid work history in a short amount of time, offshore is one option known to deliver.