You hear it all the time: “The salary for oil/gas jobs is great.” “There’s plenty of jobs in the oil/gas industry.” “The job outlook for oil/gas jobs is looking good.” “You don’t even need a degree to get a job in this industry.” Though, have you ever wondered what some of the actual hard numbers were and if a degree really wasn’t necessary? Look no further.
The following statistics are courtesy of the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Let’s cut to the chase. Most people are interested in what a job in this industry actually pays. The 2010 median pay for oil and gas workers was $37,640 per year and $18.09 per hour. The best part is that no college degree is required. Given the work force these days, it is more difficult to find higher paying jobs like this without a college degree. More specifically, the 2010 median salary breakdown for the following jobs was as follows:
- $51, 980 for rotary drill operators
- $43,470 for derrick operators
- $38,920 for service unit operators
- $31,770 for roustabouts
In general, extraction workers’ average wage was the highest with an average of $39,040, followed by oil and gas workers at $37,640.
The typical level of education required for entry into oil and gas occupations is actually less than a high school diploma. Often, employers prefer to hire high school vocational graduates who might have learned basic mechanical skills. Again, this is not a requirement, but skills like good hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, physical strength and detail-oriented might just put you ahead of other applicants. Be sure to point these skills out on an application and/or resume.
If you have been hired, congratulations! Now you will most likely begin the training process. Hours upon hours of job training are usually required before workers can begin tasks in more skilled positions. Many workers will start as helpers to experienced workers and learn the skills of the job merely from observation and guidance. As workers gain this necessary experience, they can expect to move up to higher paying jobs that require the greater skill.
“The job outlook remains positive, but slow-moving. Employment of oil and gas workers is expected to increase by 8 percent from 2010, slower than the average for all occupations,” states the website.
However, as drilling continues in deeper waters and harsher environments than in the past, the need for more workers is inevitable. In particular, in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, where drilling continues to dominate, applicants might have a better chance than in other states where the industry is not quite as “booming.”
For more information and statistics, please visit http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/oil-and-gas-workers.htm. For more information on training institutions, visit http://shalestuff.com/educationdirectory. For more information on help with training costs visit, http://www.pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/pa-tip/index.shtml.