Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production

Updated on February 5, 2024

The oil and gas production industry remains a major player in the global economy, offering some of the most lucrative career opportunities. Here are the top ten high-paying jobs in this sector:

1. Petroleum Engineer

  • Average Salary: $130,850/year
  • Job Description: Develops methods for extracting oil and gas efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Responsibilities: Utilizing technology and equipment for safe and compliant oil extraction.
  • Education: Relevant degree in engineering or a similar field.

2. Petroleum Geologist

  • Average Salary: $100,450/year
  • Job Description: Identifies and assesses oil and gas reserves using advanced technology.
  • Responsibilities: Analyzing seismic surveys, core samples, and well logs to develop drilling plans.
  • Education: Degree in geology or related field.

3. Project Manager

  • Average Salary: $151,750/year
  • Job Description: Oversees oil projects from inception to completion.
  • Responsibilities: Planning, resource allocation, and ensuring project adherence to budgets and regulations.
  • Education: Experience in project management, with relevant industry knowledge.

4. Chemical Engineer

  • Average Salary: $167,120/year
  • Job Description: Develops processes for refining crude oil into products like gasoline.
  • Responsibilities: Designing refining processes, experimenting for efficiency, and safety compliance.
  • Education: Degree in chemical engineering.

5. Drilling Consultant

  • Average Salary: $78,670/year
  • Job Description: Expert in identifying potential drilling sites and ensuring safe operations.
  • Responsibilities: Analyzing seismic data, advising on drilling sites, and developing safety measures.
  • Education: Extensive knowledge and experience in the oil and gas industry.

6. Gas Plant Operator

  • Average Salary: $70,720/year
  • Job Description: Monitors and controls gas plant operations.
  • Responsibilities: Reading gauges, adjusting valves, and ensuring smooth operations.
  • Education: Understanding of relevant safety protocols, with on-the-job training.

7. Environmental Manager

  • Average Salary: $137,600/year
  • Job Description: Manages environmental risks in oil and gas operations.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing environmental impact, developing methods to reduce it.
  • Education: Degree in environmental science or related field.

8. Rig Welder

  • Average Salary: $46,000 to $101,000/year
  • Job Description: Welds and fabricates equipment on oil rigs.
  • Responsibilities: Ensuring structural integrity and compliance with safety standards.
  • Education: Experience in welding, often with certifications.

9. Tank Inspector

  • Average Salary: $40,000 to $52,000/year
  • Job Description: Inspects storage tanks and pipelines for compliance with regulations.
  • Responsibilities: Testing tank integrity and taking product samples for analysis.
  • Education: High school diploma or higher; some positions may require additional certifications.

10. Derrickhand

  • Average Salary: $48,000 to $81,000/year
  • Job Description: Operates machinery on oil and gas rigs.
  • Responsibilities: Handling the drill bit and machinery in various weather conditions.
  • Education: Strong understanding of mechanical principles.

Final Thoughts

The oil & gas production industry not only provides some of the highest paying jobs but also offers career advancement and a dynamic work environment. With roles ranging from engineering to project management and environmental protection, this industry caters to a broad spectrum of skills and educational backgrounds.

Other Jobs in Industrial and Manufacturing Sectors


For more detailed information on these roles and their requirements, you can refer to InvestGuiding,, and OutsideTheBadge.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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