Is Oil & Gas Production A Good Career Path?

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Since the United States produces more oil and natural gas than any other nation, it is quite obvious that the energy sector is a robust job market here. However, a question that can strike your mind is, “is oil & gas production a good career path?” Get the answer here in this article.

It has been estimated that the manufacturing industry accounts for 5.6% of all U.S. employment. Previously, the unconventional oil and natural gas value chain and energy-related chemicals operations supported about 2.1 million employment, and that number is projected to climb to 3.9 million by 2025.

It is true that the oil and gas industry has a bad reputation for contributing to environmental damage and global warming; still, the industry is taking steps towards sustainability. The importance of carbon management and eco-friendliness is growing in the industry.

As the oil and gas production industry is changing, it requires more workers– here in this article, we will discuss the opportunities that can suit your purposes.

Is Oil & Gas Production A Good Career Path?

oil and gas production good career

Yes, oil & gas production is a good career path for people who love to face challenges and earn rewards. This industry provides numerous career opportunities to people willing to work offshore, onshore and regular office work. You may have to work hard on long shifts, but the field is rewarding with a salary more than average. 

On average, full-time oil and gas workers put in 49.5 hours a week, while part-timers put in 20. Career options in the oil & gas industry you can go for are:

  • Administrative and accounting.
  • Construction.
  • Drilling.
  • Geology.
  • Human resources
  • Legal.
  • Business & marketing.
  • Engineering.
  • Sales
  • Technician.

Essential Things to Know in the Oil & Gas Industry

important things about oil and gas industry

Every industry has some advantages and disadvantages. So before you get into the oil & gas industry, here are the things that you should know:

Safety in the Workplace

Workplace safety is definitely one of the major concerns in the oil & gas industry, and that’s why people often back out from working here. As most people are concerned about safety protocols, the industry is already paying more attention to them. The good news is that due to the extensive implementation of industry best practices and new standards, the natural gas and oil industry has dramatically reduced accidents and illnesses among its workforce.

Working Conditions 

As mentioned earlier, you can get into a furnished, air-conditioned office or can work in such a place that is difficult to bear. So, you must be prepared and set your mind before you want to work in the Oil & gas industry.

Health Issues

You will come across many oils, chemicals, harsh gas and fumes if you work in the oil and gas industry, which can impact your skin and respiratory system.

Reasons Why You Should Choose A Career in The Oil & Gas Industry

Here we share a list of reasons for you to start your career in oil and gas production.

No Requirements for College Degree

If you are wondering how to pick a career in the oil and gas industry, then you should know that It is not necessary to get a degree from a recognized university to work in the oil field. Many construction jobs, such as floor hands and roughnecks, require only a high school diploma for employment. 

It can be a possibility that you don’t have the means to continue your college education; still, you can start at the bottom of the oil rig and work your way up. Roughnecks often advance to management positions on oil rigs.

Oil and Gas Industry Pay Well

This industry has one of the highest pay rates in the economy for workers, even with modest levels of training or education. A floor hand can start at an average annual salary of $35,000 and advance to a position that earns twice as much.

In case your company gets offshore contracts, there will be a chance for you to make a fortune in oil & gas production.

Plenty of Advancement Opportunities

There are chances to work your way up to be in the managerial position from the entry-level position. A regular floor hand can advance to motor hand, derrick hand, driller, and then finally an oil-rig manager. You may require some certifications while you advance in your job. However, you can get that by attending seminars and workshops.

Learning Opportunities

In case you are working as a floor hand you can get the opportunities to gain knowledge to become an oil rig manager in the future. 

Travel Opportunities

The oil and gas industry is a global industry and that’s why there are chances to travel. If your company gets offshore contracts, then you may have the chance to travel.

Stable Job

As oil is one of the main necessities, it is quite obvious that the industry will look for workers always. There’s really next to zero chance that you will lose your job in this industry unless you don’t commit any illegal jobs. 

What Type of Career Paths Can You Go For in The Oil & Gas Production?

Numerous job opportunities exist in the oil and gas sector. So you can pick the one that suits your passions and skillset.

1. Petroleum Engineer

A skilled petroleum engineer is essential for the successful assessment, development, and extraction of oil and gas. The petroleum industry uses geologists with expertise in analyzing geophysical data from the subsurface to find hydrocarbons. Reservoir engineers also provide their services to help assess risks. In light of this, a petroleum engineer might choose a wide range of careers. On average, a petroleum engineer can make $137,330/ year.

2. Commercial Analyst

A commercial analyst is responsible for the development of the company’s strategy and ensuring that all development operations are in line with the new rules. They are the ones that distribute their company’s products all over the world by organizing conferences. In the United States, a commercial analyst may expect an average annual pay of $68,898.

3. Energy Engineer

Energy engineers are responsible for producing conventional energy (oil and gas extraction or generation of renewable energy) such as solar, wind or hydropower, biofuel, etc.  All of these are possible by auditing energy and inspecting properties. An energy engineer can earn $86,891 per year on average.

4. Marketing Coordinator

The job role of the marketing coordinator is to maintain a close relationship with the clients to ensure the marketing and supply chain operations go smoothly. Another responsibility of the marketing coordinator is to prepare reports and keep track of the supply and sale of the products. As a marketing coordinator, you can earn $76,375/year on average.

5. Geoscientist

A geoscientist refers to many career options, such as geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, and sedimentologists. People in these professions are responsible for locating new oil, gas, minerals, water sources, etc., by interpreting geophysical, geochemical, and geological data. The average yearly salary of a geoscientist ranges from $83,680- $172,490.

6. Mudlogger

A mudlogger refers to the people that record all the data while drilling. It is a mudlogger’s duty to keep records of the status of the wells’ condition when gas or oil is extracted. Average annual earnings for a Mud Logger in the United States are $99,535, or $48 per hour.

7. Engineering Geologist

Engineering Geologists are tasked with assessing the potential risks of natural phenomena like geological hazards. Their attention is directed toward anything that could go wrong during engineering processes. An engineering geologist can make $85,344 per year.

8. Mining Engineer

Mines and other businesses related to underground and above-ground rely on the expertise of engineers in this industry to expand safely and efficiently. They are in charge of everything associated with the mining process. From site closure to rehabilitation– every mine production management activities are job responsibility of a mining engineer. In the United States, a mining engineer may expect an average annual pay of $97,995.

9. Hydrographic Surveyor

Hydrographic surveyors spend much of their time at sea, working from survey ships and platforms to take precise readings of the ocean floor and document its topography. On the other hand, they also help marine scientists by gaining knowledge of ocean currents and the impacts of climate change and industrialization on the marine ecosystem.

10. Frac Engineer

For oil and gas production, the process known as “fracking” involves pumping enormous volumes of liquid at high pressures into underground rock formations to induce fractures. Frac engineers are those who have the responsibility of testing chemicals or other fluids and designing and monitoring the effectiveness of frac treatments. The typical salary for a Frac Engineer in the United States is $98,936 per year.

11. Roustabout

If you are just about to start your career and don’t have any work experience, then roustabout can be the first choice to enter the oil and gas industry. Roustabouts devote a disproportionate amount of their time to cleaning and maintaining equipment in comparison to those in many other occupations. The average annual income of a roustabout is $38,920.


There are both pros and cons to working in oil & gas production; however, it applies to almost every job in any other industry. Jobs in oil and gas production are stable, secure, and gratifying; however, you should weigh the risks of your employment and your health while making this decision.

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Written byMichael Durham