The 10 Highest Paying Oil & Gas Jobs | (2023)

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The 10 Highest Paying Oil & Gas Jobs | (1)

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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By Julianne Geiger - Nov 07, 2019, 7:00 PM CST

Make no mistake: the U.S. energy industry may be doing someserious cost-cutting and slimming-and-trimming to stay competitive after the shale boom binge, but when it comes to employment, oil & gas jobs are some of the most lucrative opportunities in the market.

Jobs are booming, just as much as U.S. oil and gas production is.


US oil production has increased from 11.7 million bpd at the start of 2019 to 12.6 million by the end of October, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas production has risen as well, to 99.1 Bcf/d at the end of October—95 Bcf/d of which is from dry natural gas—up from 91.3 Bcf/d this time last year for total US natural gas production.

Those gains have translated into more oil and gas industry jobs.

US Oil and Gas Employment

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The United States Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency Sectors in 2018 employed 6.7 million Americans in 2018, according to the US Energy and Employment Report 2019, with nearly 1.5 million directly employed by the oil and gas industry, and another 1.2 million workers employed by the power generation sector, which includes all types of power generation, including oil and gas.

The 10 Highest Paying Oil & Gas Jobs | (2)

Employment in the oil and gas extraction and support services, specifically, was at its highest level in 2018 since the fall of 2014—the next most recent high.

And those jobs? None too shabby if you’re interested.

America’s energy independence push has resulted in a new high for US oil and gas workers. In fact, the energy and utility sectors have the highest median salary of any industry in the S&P 500.

Who’s Who in Energy

If you’re looking to make some cash in oil & gas jobs, you won’t have to look far. The oil industry is having a heck of a time recruiting a skilled workforce, and ExxonMobil, Phillips66, and Anadarko—all Texas based—have been more than willing to pony up the cash.

ExxonMobil’s median pay, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, came in at $171,375. Phillips66’s median pay was $196,407, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. Related: U.S. Shale Is Far From Dead

Compared to America’s overall median wage for advanced degree holders of $77,324, that’s downright generous. But what oil & gas jobs are the best?

Top Paying Oil & Gas Jobs

Pay isn’t everything, but it sure is something. And if you can’t woo employees with good corporate citizenship or your climate friendliness, you had better pony up the cash. So what jobs are oil and gas companies sinking the most money into in its quest to acquire good talent?

The list of annual salaries below, developed from the Global Talent Energy Index, is based on employees with six years of experience in the oil and gas industry:

#10 Production Engineer $125,600. Production engineers mostly carry petroleum engineering degrees and are responsible for designing and selection well equipment to get it to the production stage post-drilling. They also monitor the well while it is flowing to make sure the well is efficient and still commercially viable.

#9 Project Engineer $126,846. Project Engineers ensure that the design, construction and major maintenance projects are safely completed, and completed within budget. They review progress reports and proposed construction changes, as well as monitoring and communication project progress to stakeholders.

#8 HSE Manager $126,874. Health, Safety, and Environmental managers develop and implement organizational safety programs. They review and keep updated HSE policies, as well as conduct risk assessments and create precautionary measures. Requirements include a BA in occupational health, safety management or environmental science.

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#7 Mechanical Engineer $127,828. Mechanical engineers support plant equipment, and design, develop, install, and maintain equipment that is used for processing oil and gas, with a focus on safety, reliability, quality, and sustainability.

#6 Geophysicist $128,965. A geophysicist studies the physical aspects of the earth in order to determine what lies beneath the surface of the earth.

#5 Drilling Engineer $129,944. This position manages rig staff and is responsible for assessing and maintaining wells, ensuring safety measures are implementing, and is generally responsible for the financial and technical operations of drilling for oil or gas.

#4 Reservoir Engineer $137,156. Reservoir Engineers draw on geology and fluid mechanics knowledge to find petroleum in underground reservoirs. They also assess the amount of petroleum reserves underground. Typically they have a degree in petroleum engineering.

#3 Construction Manager $145,000. CMs are responsible for delivering construction in compliance with HSE requirements and the schedule. They work closely with the project manager in leading teams to manage and control construction projects.

#2 Drilling Supervisor $148,476. Drilling supervisors are in charge of the drill operations and make sure drilling is completed on time. Unlike most of the other top jobs in the oil and gas industry, drilling supervisors often do not need a bachelor’s degree. However, years of experience are usually required. Some employers prefer degrees in drilling technology or mechanical engineering.

#1 Project Manager $157,795. The top paying job in the oil and gas industry is the Project Manager, and it’s no wonder. The PM is tasked with ensuring that an entire project from start to finish is on track, in budget, to specifications, and within safety guidelines. The PM also ensures that communication is flowing between groups. Essentially, the PM is the glue that holds an entire operation together—and companies are willing to pay for the best.

The 10 Highest Paying Oil & Gas Jobs | (3)

Top Paying Petrochemicals Jobs

The petrochemical industry doesn’t get as much love as the oil and gas industry, but it is said to be the oil and gas industry’s future. Like the traditional oil & gas jobs, petrochemical jobs are highly lucrative, although the salaries are not quite as high.

The top-paying job in petrochemicals is that of the Process Engineer, which pays on average for a six-year veteran $123,400 per year. Quality Assurance Manager comes in at #2, which pays $122,190 per year. Other top jobs in the petrochemicals sector are Construction Manager (#3) at $117,856 per year, Mechanical Engineer (#4) at $111,630, and Chemical Engineer (#5) $98,636.

Top Paying Jobs in Renewables Sector

The renewables sector has something the other energy-related jobs don’t: they are appealing to the millennial generation. And as such, they tend to have an easier time with talent acquisition of doe-eyed job seekers looking to be excellent citizens.

And it’s good that they feel good about their jobs because on average, they’re going to make less money.


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The top-paying job in the renewables sector is Construction Manager, at $118,730. The number two slot is held by the HSE Manager at $102,997, followed by Mechanical Engineer at $92,822.

Top Paying Jobs in the Nuclear Sector

We hear a lot about oil and gas here in the United States, but the US is also the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, according to the World Nuclear Association, producing more than 30% of the world’s total nuclear generation of electricity.

About 20% of the United States’ total electrical output comes from nuclear power, and despite a near 30-year slump for new builds, two new nuclear facilities are now in the works. In total, the US has 98 functioning nuclear power reactors spread across 30 states. Related: Saudi Arabia’s Final Plan For Higher Oil Prices

But the nuclear sector may find it difficult to attract new talent. The reputation the segment has, the technical nature of the work required, and the fact that the skills needed are specific to just nuclear are all working against the industry.

But there are great opportunities here, with the current nuclear workforce over the age of 55 representing a third of all workers in this sector, leaving the door open for the next generation—if they are interested.

So how do jobs in this segment measure up? Somewhere near the bottom of the pile, it would seem, but salaries are on the rise.

The top-paying job in the nuclear sector is that of the Construction Manager at $118,565. Coming in second is the Nuclear Engineer, at $108,250 per year, with Electric Engineer in fourth place at $103,160.

Going forward, IHS predicts that by 2025, just the unconventional oil and natural gas value chain and energy-related chemicals activity will support 3.9 million jobs.

The United States accounted for 98% of all global oil production growth in 2018, and the EIA is expecting crude oil production in the US to reach 13.2 million barrels per day next year. Add to that the fact that the US is expected to retain its spot as the number one oil consumer of the world, US job growth for the oil and gas sector is expected to see more gains going forward.

By Julianne Geiger for

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What oil and gas company pays the most? ›

Chevron: The salary of a financial analyst is $83,445 which is the lowest, a petroleum engineer is $117, 657, and the salaries vary. The highest paid is a senior financial analyst who earns $138,725.
Top Highest Paid Oil and Gas Companies Which Uses SAP.
CompaniesBarrel per day
BP4.1 million
Royal Dutch Shell3.9 million
Pemex3.6 million
Chevron3.5 million
21 more rows

What drilling company pays the most? ›

Salaries By Precision Drilling Competitors
RankCompany NameAverage Salary
1Parker Drilling Co$93,598
2Nabors Drilling USA, LP$93,476
4Frontier Drilling$89,405
16 more rows

What is the highest paying oilfield company in Texas? ›

The following companies offer the highest salaries for oil field workers in Texas: Halliburton ($85,500 a year), Pattersonuti Drilling Company L ($80,500 a year), and Nabors Drilling Technologies USA ($57,500 a year).

What is the best oil field company to work for? ›

2019 Rank2018 RankCompany
6 more rows

What job pays the most without a degree? ›

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:
  • Patrol Officer.
  • Executive Assistant.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Sales Representative.
  • Sound Engineering Technician.
  • Electrician.
  • Plumber.

Why do oil workers get paid so much? ›

Part of the reason that offshore oil rig worker pay is high is to offset the difficult working conditions and risks associated with the job. Workers often face 14/21 shifts, meaning that they work for 14 days straight, followed by 21 days off.

Why does the oilfield pay so much? ›

Why does the oilfield pay so much? Salaries on oil rigs have soared because of a global boom in offshore drilling. Managers and workers are scarce in this specialised industry, where the work is intense and the job involves living on a platform in remote seas for weeks.

What is the richest oil company in the United States? ›

ExxonMobil ranks first among United States' top ten oil and gas producing companies based on market capitalization. As of October 17, 2022, the Texas-based oil supermajor had a market cap of 410.22 billion U.S. dollars.

Are oil rig workers rich? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $207,000 and as low as $20,000, the majority of Oil Rig Worker salaries currently range between $35,000 (25th percentile) to $76,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $136,000 annually across the United States.

What is the lowest paying job on an oil rig? ›

Stewards have the lowest paying job on the oil rig.

What mining jobs pay the most? ›

The title of highest paying mining job goes to… project directors and drilling operations directors. These positions can earn more than $400,000 per year, making it by far the most lucrative job in the industry.

What is the largest oilfield in Texas? ›

East Texas Oil Field, the largest oil field in Texas or in any of the U.S. Lower 48 states as measured by cumulative production, was discovered in 1930.

How much do Oil Rig workers make a week in Texas? ›

How much does an Oil Rig Worker make in Houston, Texas? As of Feb 19, 2023, the average annual pay for an Oil Rig Worker in Houston is $64,385 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.95 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,238/week or $5,365/month.

Can you make good money in the oil field? ›

While job opportunities in the industry may be on the decline, those who do work in oil and gas continue to enjoy strong compensation. The field offers some of the highest median wages of any industry, with a typical worker earning $80,710 per year.

What state has the most oilfield work? ›

Texas is by far the largest oil-producing state in the United States. In 2021, Texas produced a total of 1.7 billion barrels. In a distant second place is New Mexico, which produced 459.8 million barrels in the same year. Virginia is the smallest producing state in the country, at three thousand barrels.

Where do oil field workers stay? ›

A man camp is workforce housing that provides temporary shelter for oil field workers and work crews tasked with working on large projects, such as the building, repairing or maintaining of pipelines, powerlines and railroads.

Who is the biggest oil trader? ›

With revenues of $279 billion in 2021, Vitol is the largest independent energy trader in the world, and would be the sixth-largest company worldwide as measured by revenue on the Fortune Global 500 list.

What job pays $100 an hour without a degree? ›

Freelance photographer

Photographers who specialize in graphic design and art can be the most likely to earn $100 an hour, but they normally have about five years of experience in the field. Education requirements: You don't need formal education for this occupation, but a high school diploma or GED is recommended.

How can I make 150K a year without a degree? ›

The best way to earn $150K without a degree is by enrolling in a coding bootcamp, taking online courses, and networking. To change your career path and earn a high salary, you must acquire and master the necessary skills.

What is a low stress job that pays well? ›

According to data that FinanceBuzz compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), some low-stress jobs that typically yield a six-figure salary include mathematician, software developer, political scientist, physicist, chemical engineer, astronomer, and ...

How long is a shift on an oil rig? ›

The usual working shift is 12 hours 'on' and 12 hours 'off' and many shift patterns are a mixture of both day and night because it's a 24/7 operation. Many offshore jobs require shift patterns of 2 or 3 weeks on the rig / 2-3 weeks onshore, but the patterns can be longer.

How long can you stay on an oil rig? ›

How long do workers stay on an oil rig? Workers on an offshore oil rig may remain on the platform for six months to one year, depending on the company they're working for, the project type and the duration of their contract.

What is the longest you can stay if you are a contractor on an oil rig? ›

Normally, from 6 to 12 months, depending on the company and the specific project. The different sort of contracts can be extended by mutual agreement.

How much do drilling rig hands make? ›

How much does a RIG HAND make? As of Feb 23, 2023, the average annual pay for a RIG HAND in the United States is $40,735 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $19.58 an hour. This is the equivalent of $783/week or $3,394/month.

How much do oil rig workers in the ocean make? ›

How much does an Offshore Oil Rig make? As of Feb 24, 2023, the average annual pay for the Offshore Oil Rig jobs category in the United States is $69,264 a year.

Are cell phones allowed on a rig? ›

Can You Use Cell Phones on an Oil Rig? Technically, it is possible to access cellular services at some locations offshore. The Gulf of Mexico, for example, has towers installed offshore in strategic locations to allow offshore rigs and platforms to communicate with those onshore.

What is the strongest oil company? ›

1. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. ( Saudi Aramco)
  • Revenue (TTM): $590.3 billion.
  • Net Income (TTM): $156.5 billion.
  • Market Cap: $1.8 trillion.
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -3.7%
  • Exchange: Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange.

What are the 3 biggest oil companies? ›

The petro majors of the world, or the largest oil companies on the planet, namely Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP), and Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) raked in $20 billion, $11 billion, $9.5 billion, and $8 billion in net income, which is the amount available to the firm ...

Who owns most of the oil in the US? ›

In 2014, petroleum and natural gas were the two largest sources of energy in the U.S., together providing 63 percent of the energy consumed (oil provided 35 percent and gas 28 percent).
Service companies.
RankCompanyMillion Bbl/Year
7 more rows

How much money does an oil rig make per month? ›

As of Feb 28, 2023, the average monthly pay for an Oil Rig in the United States is $6,538 a month.

Do oil rigs have WIFI? ›

There is 24/7 internet access at high speed on the rigs I've been involved with, and sometimes it's a subsea cable which is even faster.

How much does an oil rig pay in Texas? ›

The average Oil Rig salary in Texas is $51,940 as of February 27, 2023, but the range typically falls between $44,425 and $63,310.

How much does a drill rig operator get paid a month? ›

An entry level rock drill operator (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of R199,631. On the other end, a senior level rock drill operator (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of R329,143.

What does a floorhand make on a drilling rig? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $93,500 and as low as $27,500, the majority of Drilling Rig Floorhand salaries currently range between $29,500 (25th percentile) to $54,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $70,000 annually across the United States.

Do oil rig workers go home? ›

While offshore, workers work every day without a day off until they go home. Shifts sometimes run 0:00-12:00 and 12:00-0:00, but can also run 6:00-18:00 and 18:00-6:00. In fact, one of the strangest parts of offshore drilling is that you could be busy every day for weeks, but this depends on your job.

How much do miners make in a month? ›

Average ₹14,748 per month

Is this useful?

Is mining a scary job? ›

Working in coal mines is dangerous — miners have to deal with toxic gases, plus the threat of being crushed, drowned, or injured from fires and explosions.

Did China buy Texas oil fields? ›

The deal is part of a larger transaction between Yantai Xinchao and a second Chinese firm, according to a stock exchange filing on Saturday. The purchase, which includes oil fields in the state's Howard and Borden counties, has already been approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, the filing said.

Where is America's largest oil field? ›

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field is a large oil field on Alaska's North Slope. It is the largest oil field in North America, covering 213,543 acres (86,418 ha) and originally containing approximately 25 billion barrels (4.0×109 m3) of oil.

Who has more oil Texas or Oklahoma? ›

Texas is undoubtedly the largest oil-producing state in the United States. In 2020, Texas produced a total of 1.78 billion barrels of oil.
The Dominant Oil Producing States.
Oil Production (billion barrels)0.17
Share of Total Production4.1%
4 more columns
Aug 10, 2021

Who gets paid the most on an oil rig? ›

Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production
  • Petroleum engineer.
  • Petroleum geologist.
  • Project manager.
  • Chemical engineer.
  • Drilling consultant.
  • Gas plant operator.
  • Environment manager.
Dec 30, 2022

What is the highest paid position on an oil rig? ›

The salary of a drilling consultant working offshore ranges from $143,000 to as much as $305,000 a year making it the most lucrative job on an offshore platform. Drilling consultants supervise the daily operations of the rig and provide advice and consultation on a number of drilling issues.

How much do oil rig jobs pay in North Dakota? ›

The average salary for a oil field in North Dakota is $73,000 per year. Oil field salaries in North Dakota can vary between $24,500 to $176,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

What is the highest paying job? ›

1. Anesthesiologists
  • Median annual salary: $208,000.
  • Industry: Health care.
  • Education needed: Doctorate degree.
Feb 1, 2023

Is there good money in the oilfield? ›

The best Oil and Gas jobs can pay up to $256,000 per year.

It begins with geological exploration to find new sources of raw materials, which requires geologists, researchers, and various administrative positions.

How much do oilfield workers make in North Dakota? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $202,281 and as low as $19,544, the majority of Oil Rig Worker salaries currently range between $34,201 (25th percentile) to $74,267 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $132,898 annually in North Dakota.

Do oil riggers make a lot of money? ›

Oil rig workers make an average annual salary of $66,483 in the United States. Newcomers to the industry can see annual salaries in the range of $45,000 to $50,000. The average wage of oil rig workers ranges from $21 to $31 per hour, with some veteran oil rig workers earning $40 per hour or more.

How many hours a week do oilfield workers work? ›

4. How many hours a week do workers work on an oil rig? As the work on an oil rig is never-ending, most workers must have 12-hour shifts, seven days a week for even 28 days at a time. They might have to work overtime if the project requires so or if there is an emergency.

How much do roughnecks get paid? ›

What Is the Average Roughneck Salary by State
StateAnnual SalaryWeekly Pay
46 more rows

How much does a Floorhand make in North Dakota? ›

The average Floor Hand salary in North Dakota is $56,400 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $48,800 and $72,800.

How much does a floorhand make on an oil rig? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $93,500 and as low as $27,500, the majority of Drilling Rig Floorhand salaries currently range between $29,500 (25th percentile) to $54,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $70,000 annually across the United States.

How long do oil rig jobs last? ›

Normally, from 6 to 12 months, depending on the company and the specific project.

Can you drink alcohol on an oil rig? ›

Working on an oil rig has very strict rules to abide by, so don't expect a beer with your dinner as alcohol is strictly forbidden. Any type of drug use is highly intolerable – you will be drug tested before and may be randomly tested during your assignment.


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