These Critical Oil & Gas Jobs Make More Than Six Figures

Thu, April 20, 2023

Texas energy could not be where it is today without the hardworking men and women that make it possible to develop and support oil and gas production in the state. In 2022, the Texas oil and gas industry directly employed more than 347,000 people, and when factoring indirect and induced multipliers as well, the industry supported a total of 2.6 million jobs, including those directly employed by the industry, in Texas last year alone.

But the jobs don’t stop there. American oil and gas production holds a critical place in the U.S. economy. In 2022, the oil and gas industry supported more than 940,000 direct jobs in the U.S. And that’s just direct employment – the industry supported more than 19 million indirect jobs that same year.                                                                                                                                                                            

Not only does the industry support millions of jobs, but these jobs are exceedingly well paid. TNG took a look at five critical jobs in oil and gas development – all of which report annual salaries over six figures.

Geoscientists earn an average annual salary of $161,310.

The state of Texas employs more geoscientists than any other state, and geoscientists in oil and gas earn more than any other sector. In fact, geoscientists working in oil and gas can earn an average of $161,310.

Geoscientists, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, “study and work with minerals, soils, energy resources, fossils, oceans and freshwater, the atmosphere, weather, environmental chemistry and biology, natural hazards and more.”  For oil and gas exploration, geoscientists play the essential role of studying rock formations, mineral samples, and other areas to identify the location of oil and gas deposits. For example, geologists recommend the appropriate sites for the safest and most effective drilling opportunities, and have the ability to help set state and federal regulations on drilling

Petroleum engineers earn an average salary of $157,900

In Texas, petroleum engineers earn an average annual salary of $151,420, and if they work in oil and gas extraction, they can earn an average annual salary of $157,900. The Lonestar state employs more than 10,000 petroleum engineers.

The primary role of petroleum engineers is to design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from reservoirs. Petroleum engineers are hired to determine the most efficient way to drill and obtain these resources for use. Oil and natural gas are essential to the world and will remain that way for decades to come, and petroleum engineer are integral to the safe, efficient, and maximized recovery of hydrocarbons.

Health and safety engineers earn an average annual salary of $123,870.

Safety is a constant priority of the oil and industry, which is why safety professionals exist. They serve the role of ensuring proper protocols are in place and being followed to prevent incidents and reduce risk. Given how significant a priority safety is within the energy industry, there are many, many different safety related jobs.  

Crude oil and petroleum products delivered by pipelines had a 99.999 percent safety record – thanks, in large part, to the professionals ensuring the integrity of the thousands of miles of pipelines crossing the United States. And occupational health and safety specialists can make, on average more than $95,000 working in pipeline transportation of crude oil, and more than $93,000 in oil and gas extraction.

In 2022, a report from the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and American Petroleum Institute indicated that operations and maintenance incidents impacting people, or the environment declined 34 percent over the last 5 years. This is all made possible by the expert leaders hired to ensure consistent pipeline safety. The oil and natural gas industry continue to be leaders by promoting safe operations across the energy supply chain.

Information security analysts earn an average annual salary of $103,300.

America’s energy production capabilities not only define the United States as a global energy leader, but they make our energy infrastructure and companies a target of malicious foreign actors. Information security analysts help protect our energy from cyberattacks – ensuring that the software and programs that monitor, power and control our oil and gas production, transportation and refining is safe.

The cybersecurity of energy assets has also become a global focus. In 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Centre for Cybersecurity launched the Cyber Resilience in Oil and Gas initiative. The WEF has also introduced the Cyber Resilience Pledge, which has been signed by more than 21 oil and gas companies, including Texas producer Occidental.

It’s no surprise then that security specialists earn an average annual salary of more than $100,000. 

Operations Supervisors earn an average annual salary of $125,240

The operations teams are the boots on the ground in oil and gas development – they are the ones who would be at the drilling site, or checking machinery, or overseeing any construction. Operations supervisors keep these teams safe, on time and on track – ensuring that the hydrocarbons that power our lives are bring produced in a safe and efficient manner.

Compared to other industries, oil and gas pays their on-the-ground folks far better. While oil & gas extractions pays an average of $125,240 per year, other industries pay almost half that salary – around $67,000.  

American oil and gas provides employment that power our economy.

These professions aren’t just essential to powering the oil and gas industry, but for the wellbeing of our local and national economies.  According to the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO)’s most recent “State of Energy Report” report, in 2022 alone payroll in the U.S. oil and gas industry totaled $114 billion and direct Gross Regional Product (GRP) was $854 billion.

Texans for Natural Gas is proud of the Texas energy workers who contribute so much to our industry.