March 2011, Vol. 238 No. 3

Web Exclusive

U.S. Oil And Gas Pay Flat, Increases Projected

A new salary survey reveals that American oil and gas industry professionals’ wages have held up well despite uncertainty in the wider economy.

The Salary Guide, produced by Hays Oil & Gas in partnership with specialist jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, shows that US oil and gas professionals’ salaries have remained resilient, with wages marginally higher than last year at US $117,000.

Daily contract rates, a key indicator of future salary trends, registered slight growth, from $820 last year, to $840 in 2011.

The survey further reveals that the United States, taking data from both local and expat labor, is once again in the top five best-paying countries (alongside Australia, Canada, Norway and The Netherlands).

“This is encouraging for those working in the industry,” says Matt Underhill, Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas, “However, there is still a little way to go before the U.S. oil and gas labor market can feel it is back to full health.”

Three quarters of respondents expect salaries to increase in the next 12 months.

Imported labor rates also remained high, with average annual salaries at US $110,600 and daily contractor rates at $870.

Duncan Freer, Managing Director of Oil and Gas Job Search, points out that there are more reasons for optimism: “Even though average industry salaries are high, for those registering 20 years or more in the oil and gas sector the average wage is often considerably more.”

Freer continues: “Moreover, certain disciplines, such as drilling, sub-sea and structural engineers, can command very attractive packages indeed.”

Overall, the guide shows positive growth and sentiment towards salaries in the sector. Over the next 12 months, nearly 47 per cent of respondents believe that salaries will increase by 5 per cent or more.

Freer comments: “Wages are holding up well, especially in comparison to other industries. US oil and gas professionals are enjoying competitive salaries, and can look forward to that remaining the case.”

The Salary Guide can be downloaded for free by interested parties at or

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