The boom in shale oil and natural gas plays is fueling higher wages for oil and gas workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The interconnected forces of higher drilling activity, healthy oil prices and strong job creation sparked wage gains for North American-based oil and gas professionals.
On average, energy professionals reported a three percent increase in average compensation to $99,175 in 2011 from $96,588 in 2010, according to Rigzone, an expert online resource for oil and gas information, data and talent recruitment.
A stronger increase was seen for oil and gas professionals most often directly connected to drilling activity. Those working a rotational schedule saw a six percent compensation increase year/year from $106,162 in 2010 to $112,546 in 2011.
In addition, companies rewarded the newest entrants into the oil and gas sector. Earnings for those with less than one year of experience jumped nine percent to $66,923 from the reported earnings of their cohorts in 2010. Earnings for their colleagues with more than 20 years of industry experience top $135,000 or more than double average first year compensation.
More than 19,000 oil and gas professionals based in North America provided compensation information to Rigzone’s Compensation Tracker. In 2011, a dozen positions or skills commanded six-figure earnings and had above average year/year growth including:
|Directional Driller||$184,374||Subsea Engineer||$133,453|
|Mud Engineer||$108,032||Downhole Intervention||$133,418|
|Reservoir Engineer||$139,868||Well Control||$111,763|
The Rigzone Compensation Tracker records real-time compensation information from oil and gas professionals on an ongoing basis. In 2010 and 2011, a total of 41,846 oil and gas professionals provided compensation information, with 19,132 identified as working in North America. Cypress Research Group, a statistical consulting firm, performed the analysis of the data.