Demand and Salaries Rising

An Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide sheds insights on the employment situation
This article appeared in Vol. 10, No. 2 - 2013


With the geosciences and subsurface industry constantly growing with further exploration and development worldwide, the demand for skilled technical subsurface professionals has increased. Over the last 12 months permanent salaries within the geosciences discipline globally have risen 5.25% to an average of US$100,689. (Respondents were asked to provide their base salary only in US dollars equivalent, converting foreign currency into US dollars at the time of responding.)

Within the subsurface market, we have seen talent being exported from the UK to the Middle East, the biggest importer of talent. The Asia-Pacific region is also importing personnel, with contractors chasing more favorable day rates and expatriate opportunities. The UK has seen a large increase of imported talent from India and western Africa.

Fewer Benefits

Focusing on the industry overall, a significant finding when looking at the salaries and benefits year on year, is the number of people not receiving benefits. This has dropped to just less than 35%. We know from our own activities that benefits and allowances are a vital part of successful recruitment within the industry, where tailoring to the individual, the project and the business are increasingly commonplace. Benefits enable companies to actively engage with individuals they are looking to employ and retention rates can also be bolstered.

The main mechanism by which employers are engaging with candidates is through bonuses and this is where we have seen the largest growth. Bonuses have risen by 7.8% since 2011 to a total of 42.8% of employees receiving some sort of bonus in 2012. Healthcare and home leave allowances were the two other movers in 2012, rising by 3.16% and 2.56% respectively. In terms of what these benefits were worth to individuals in 2012, there was not a great deal of change from 2011. Tax assistance rose slightly as a percentage of what it is worth; however, slightly fewer were receiving it so it has not made much of an impression on the overall remuneration pool.

Disappointingly, there has not been an increase in the number of women working in the industry. With skill shortages as they are it appears to be the ideal time to take advantage of what should be a sizeable proportion of the workforce; unfortunately it appears this is a missed opportunity. Regionally the Americas are faring better than others, as the only two continents with more than 10% of female workers. The Middle East, Africa and Asia are once again at the lower end of the scale.

There was little change in tenure within subsurface businesses, the average stay being 3.7 years. Many E & P organizations are offering more challenging opportunities and the option to relocate overseas through inter-company transfers.

The Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2013, produced by recruiting experts Hays Oil & Gas and leading jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, is based on data from 25,000 respondents and more than one million items of data.


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