Skip to main content

Oil and gas global salaries, 2013 - 2014

Oilfield Technology,

Overview of findings

A recent survey carried out by Hays and Oilandgas JobsSearch has discovered that 2013 saw a 1% decrease in the like for like average salary in the oil and gas industry to US$ 81 184. The survey also found that contractor day rates declined. This decrease follows two years of significant growth in salaries. Yet, despite the decrease in the average salary, there is still a significant skills shortage in the industry with companies crying out for, in particular, engineers and technical professionals with over 10 years experience.

Looking to 2014, the survey found that the industry is confident about 2014 and sees more hiring being done and salary increases. 72% of the respondents have a positive or very positive outlook. This is supported by a general consensus of industry analysts who are anticipating growth in capital spending of approximately 5% this year.


Whilst the industry average salary as a whole declined, there are different stories to tell with regards to individual countries.

  • Australia: flat to slightly declining average salaries.
  • Southeast Asia: declines in China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Singapore remained relatively strong.
  • Middle East: flat to slightly declining except for Qatar.
  • Russia and CIS: flat to lower.
  • Continental Europe: flat to declining. UK and North Sea flat also.
  • Brazil: second consecutive year of decline. Argentina and Venezuela also saw declines. Colombia was a bright spot.
  • Canada: relatively flat salaries. US salaries decreased to 2010 levels.

The survey revealed the following information about salaries in general within the oil and gas industry:

  • Local talent average salaries for 2013 were US$ 68 900.
  • Imported talent average salaries stood at US$ 100 600.
  • Most disciplines realised flat or single digit declines in salaries.
  • In terms of base salaries, Global Super Majors lead the way.

Employee benefits

The survey revealed that more people are now receiving benefits as part of their employment contract. This has become more evident as candidate shortages continue to rise and they are used as a mechanism to attract potential employees from elsewhere. However, despite this increase, 33% of industry employees do not receive any benefits as part of their employment. The top five industry benefits offered, according to the respondents are:

  • Bonuses.
  • Commission.
  • Tax assistance.
  • Pension.
  • Health plan.

Geographically, the survey found that bonuses were not the most popular benefit offered in North and South America. In these regions, health plans were the most popular benefit. Asia, South America and The Middle East were found to be regions with the fewest number of oil and gas employees without benefits.

Employment sectors

When it comes to head count within the industry, it remained on par with 2011 and 2012 in 2013. The following were highlighted as key findings when asking respondents about industry employment in general:

  • On average, companies rely less on expat workers than in 2012.
  • Women and younger workers made up more of the oil and gas industry work force in 2013 than 2012.
  • Expatriates dominate the Middle East.
  • Europe and Asia remain the primary export of talent.
  • Only 19.5% of respondents had more than 20 years experience in the oil and gas industry.
  • Fewer contractors now engage with agencies.

Industry outlook

The long term view appears to be relatively strong with there being particularly high employment potential in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and the Arctic. However, it is the skills shortage that is the contining problem within the industry. 

Edited by Claira Lloyd.

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):