Oil Job Hunting Guide

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Oil Jobs Income

It is not uncommon for a person starting at the bottom with no previous oil field experience to be making $40,000 to $60,000 a year, and that is for working only six months out of the year!

Entry-level positions start at $700 to $1,000 per week. Dishwashers and BR hands (who wash dishes, sweep and mop floors, put up inventory and do general house-cleaning in the living quarters) earn $700 per week.

Roustabouts (general laborers) earn $900 to $1100 per week. Other entry level positions are deckhands, oilers, welder helpers, cleaner painters and so on; and there are currently plenty of openings.

2007 Geological Salary Survey






0 - 2 $95,000 $82,800 $58,000
3 - 5 $145,000 $107,800 80,000
6 - 9 $153,000 $121,100 $99,000
10 - 14 $155,000 $119,800 100,000
15 - 19 $185,000 $151,600 $101,000
20 - 24 $260,000 $167,400 $134,000
25+ $200,000 $162,800 $130,000

A recently released study by the University of Houston and the Boyden executive search firm stated that the median salary of a petroleum geologist (with 10 years experience) has increased 23 percent over the past three years, going from $107,500 (2004) to $132,132 (2006). But it's not just the oil and gas geologist jobs; oil drilling rig jobs have hit a gusher, increasing from $36,000 to $58,000 during the same three years. Some oil companies are even paying sign-on bonuses (up to $15,000) to entry-level geologists with master's degrees.

The University of Houston and the Boyden study also said that oil companies may spend as much as $500,000 to train an employee over a 10-15 year career. Since geologists find new oil, it takes three to four years (or more) to train an entry level newbie. Faced with these costs, some petroleum companies are trying to lure older workers out of retirement, but many of these older workers are hiring on for hourly wages much higher than what they earned with their oil drilling jobs, back in the day.

Geologist Salary and More

The study says salaries are way up in the following positions:

Petroleum geologist: $132,000 a year (10 years' experience)
• Driller: $58,000 a year
• Field engineer: $30,000 a year plus up $400 a day in bonuses for offshore work.



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