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Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production

The oil and gas industry has been through a lot of volatility in the COVID-19 virus. The collapse in demand at the start of the disease in 2020 saw gas and oil prices dropping to historic lows. Recently the supply of energy has been struggling to meet the demand, leading to price hikes in the energy sector, causing major inflation.

With these rapid developments, the industry is faced with issues with workers. The pandemic has highlighted the frequently seasonal nature of the employment sector. Recent developments have only increased the dramatic changes and volatility in the sector in the past two decades. These conditions might be making it harder to keep and recruit employees.

One of the main developments observed in the last few times has been a discordance between increasing productivity and lower employment levels. Innovative techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were developed at the turn of the century.

It has made it simpler to extract gas and oil from shale deposits. This led to a surge in oil and gas production that began in the mid-2000s; however, a shortage of supplies resulted in a fall in prices, causing several companies to eliminate employees. The number of employees employed in the industry fell significantly from 2014; however, the total employment is low.

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Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production

The decline in work in the gas and oil sector could persist for other reasons also. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are set to see steady growth shortly because of technological advances, making them more accessible and feasible alternatives than fossil fuels. The rising economics of renewable energy and the ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions by policymakers could result in a steady decrease in employment in the oil and gas sector.

Although job opportunities in this industry might be declining, those who work in the oil and gas industry have received high salaries. The industry has the highest median salaries of any profession; that is why an average of $80,710 annually. This is more than twice the median wage for nonfarm workers in the U.S., which was $41,950 in 2020.

Many factors are responsible for the industry’s high levels of compensation. The first and most important factor is that the sector is huge with a high-profit margin, which permits businesses to pay their employees better. It means companies in the oil and gas industry can compete with other sectors in attracting skilled professionals with expertise in finance, management, and law. Manual labor on the job is high-paying compared to other fields, partly because it attracts new workers despite the difficult working conditions and possible health risk. Furthermore, many jobs in the gas and oil industry require knowledge in geology, engineering, and mineralogy. These positions pay well and recruit workers who have that expertise.

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The information used in this analysis is from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To determine the most lucrative jobs in the gas and oil industries, researchers from Commodity looked at job statistics for positions within the “Oil and Gas Extraction” subsector. They sorted occupations by median annual earnings. Researchers also looked at each occupation’s median wage in the oil and gas sector with the median annual wage across all sectors. Only occupations that have wages and employment data for 2020 were considered in the study.

These are the most lucrative jobs in the gas and oil industry.

The 15 Top-Paying Oil & Gas Jobs

Mining and Geological Engineers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$138,380
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$93,800
  • Oil & gas difference: +47.5%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:260
  • Employment total across all industries:6,270

General Manager and Operations Manager

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$138,790
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$103,650
  • Oil & gas difference: +33.9%
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry:3,930
  • Employment total across all industries:2,347,420

Industrial Production Managers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$139,080
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$108,790
  • Oil & gas difference: +27.8%
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry:740
  • Employment total across all industries:179,570

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Chemical Engineers

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$139,260
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$108,540
  • Oil & gas difference: +28.3%
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry:490
  • Employment total across all industries:25,770
  1. Managers of Training and Development
  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$143,020
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$115,640
  • Oil & gas difference: +23.7%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:40
  • Employment across all industries:38,710

Natural Sciences Managers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$148,780
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$137,940
  • Oil & gas difference: +7.9%
  • Employment total across all industries:75,870

The Public Relations Manager and the Fundraising Manager

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$150,370
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$118,430
  • Oil & gas difference: +27.0%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:80
  • Employment across all industries:81,110

Sales Managers

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$151,420
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$132,290
  • Oil & gas difference: +14.5%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:150
  • Employment total across all industries:390,170

Geoscientists

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$153,740
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$93,580
  • Oil & gas difference: +64.3%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:2,780
  • Employment total across all industries:27,890

Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$153,790
  • Median annual wages across all industries:$151,150
  • Oil & gas difference: +1.7%
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry:800
  • Employment total across all industries:457,290

Financial Managers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$155,040
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$134,180
  • Oil & gas difference: +15.5%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:1,590
  • Employment total across all industries:653,080

Marketing Managers

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$166,860
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$142,170
  • Oil & gas difference: +17.4%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:420
  • Employment total across all industries:270,200

Lawyers

  • Median annual salary in the oil and gas industry:$176,650
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$126,930
  • Oil & gas difference: +39.2%
  • Total number of people employed in the oil and gas industry:500
  • Employment total across all industries:658,120

Engineers and Architectural Managers

  • Median annual earnings in the oil and gas industry:$191,120
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$149,530
  • Oil & gas difference: +27.8%
  • Total number of jobs in the oil and gas industry:1,590
  • Employment total across all industries:195,900

Chief Executives

  • Median annual wages in the oil and gas industry:>$208,000
  • Median annual salary across all industries:$185,950
  • Oil & gas difference: N/A
  • Employment in the oil and gas industry:270
  • Employment total across all industries:202,360

Methodology and Detailed Results

The information used in this study was taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) database. To determine the highest-paying positions in the petroleum and gas industry, scientists studied the occupational statistics of jobs in the “Oil and Gas Extraction” subsector. The occupations were classified based on their median annual salary. Researchers also examined each occupation’s median annual wage in the gas and oil industries against its median annual salary across all sectors. Only the occupations with wages and employment data for 2020 were considered in the study.

Chris
Chris
Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.

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