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Oil and Gas Workers

Oil and Gas Workers
Quick Facts : Oil and Gas Workers*
2010 Median Pay$37,640
Entry Level EducationLess than high school
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012134,800
Job Outlook8% (Slower than average)
Employment Change11,200

Oil and gas workers carry out the plans for drilling that petroleum engineers have designed. They operate the equipment that digs the well and that removes the oil or gas. Drilling workers operate the equipment that drills the well through the soil and rock formation, and they prepare the well for use. Service workers then finish preparing the well and assemble the equipment that removes the oil or gas from the well.

What Oil and Gas Workers Do

  • Clean equipment and keep the work area orderly and free of debris
  • Dismantle and repair oil field machinery, boilers, and steam engine parts
  • Inspect derricks, or order their inspection, before they are raised or lowered
  • Maintain wells by removing tubes or rods from the hole that is drilled into the ground
  • Oversee maintenance of the drill rig and implementation of the well plan

Work Environment

Oil and gas workers often work in remote locations outdoors and around heavy machinery, so they must follow precautions. Most work full time, and they often work overtime.
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Job Outlook

Employment of oil and gas workers is expected to increase by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020 since demand for oil and gas workers will depend on the demand for the products and services of two industries in particular: oil and gas extraction and support for mining activities.
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The average salary of oil and gas workers was $37,640 in May 2010.
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Oil and Gas Workers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Oil and Gas Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Oil and Gas Workers*
Percent Change in Employment

Oil and Gas Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Oil and Gas Workers

Workers in oil and gas occupations usually must be at least 18 years old, be in good physical condition, and pass a drug test. A high school diploma is not necessarily required but is preferred by some employers. Employers usually prefer to hire graduates of high school vocational programs in which students learn such skills as basic mechanics, welding, and heavy equipment operations.
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