If you’re interested in starting a career in the energy industry, you’re probably wondering:

What do energy jobs pay?

While it’s hard to pinpoint one figure to encompass all of the amazing jobs available in the industry, there are certainly some notable jobs that pay extremely well.

Keep in mind that high-paying jobs in energy usually require years of experience or advanced education.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a job in the energy sector! With so many entry-level jobs available to high school graduates, there is an abundance of opportunities to get your foot in the door and advance your way to a high-level position.

Here, we are going to lay out the best-paying jobs in energy based on various sectors within the industry.

And make sure you read to the end of the article to find out what steps you need to get started in this fulfilling and lucrative career!

1. Oilfield Equipment Operators

Oilfield equipment operators are crucial in the oil and gas industry. They drive and control large pieces of equipment to assist in building gas and oil pipelines using bulldozers, backhoes, front-end loaders, and cranes.

The industry is constantly looking for experienced operators to increase productivity. To become an oilfield equipment operator, you can learn through on-the-job training. However, completing an apprenticeship program will increase your chances of landing a high-paying job.

There are multiple equipment operator positions with different requirements. Some require only a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), while others require special licenses and certifications.

Here are the best paying jobs for oilfield equipment operators:

Heavy Equipment Operator II

This journey-level classification refers to operators who use moderately complex heavy construction equipment to build gas and oil pipelines.

Average Yearly Salary: $47,000

Heavy Equipment Operator III

Heavy equipment operators in this position handle more complex tasks and supervise other laborers.

Average Yearly Salary: $64,000

Specialized Equipment Operators

You can also specialize in specific types of equipment such as backhoes, cranes, front-end loaders, and bulldozers.

You can secure most positions with a high school education but crane operators typically require a 1-3 year apprenticeship program.

Average Yearly Salary: $27,000-$54,000


2. Midstream Oil & Gas

In the oil and gas industry, midstream refers to gathering, processing, storing, marketing, and transporting oil and natural gas. It also includes selling these products downstream to wholesalers and companies.

Because there are so many moving parts when it comes to midstream oil and gas, there are many career paths involved! 

Here are the best paying jobs in midstream oil and gas:

Pipeline Control Center Operator

This position requires the use of computerized equipment to monitor pipelines and their operations. There are no standard educational requirements, but having a 2-year diploma in a related discipline is beneficial.

Average Yearly Salary: $50,503

Gas Controller

Gas controllers oversee the safe and efficient operations of the pipeline and compressor stations. While some companies prefer to see a college degree for this position, you really only need a high school diploma or GED.

Average Yearly Salary: $90,452

GIS Technician

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technicians design systems and develop permit drawings for oil and gas projects. This job requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, geography, engineering, or a related field.

Average Yearly Salary: $61,577


3. Natural Gas

Natural gas refers to fossil energy formed deep beneath the surface of the Earth. It contains a variety of compounds, such as methane.

Finding the best-paying jobs in natural gas typically requires advanced education and experience, there are always ways to begin your career and move up into higher positions.

Here are some of the top-paying jobs in natural gas:

Drilling Supervisor

Drilling supervisors oversee the entire drill operation and manage onsite operations to ensure safety and efficiency. Years of experience are usually required for this position.

Average Yearly Salary: $120,602

Drilling Engineer

Drilling engineers manage the rig crew while assessing and maintaining wells. This position requires a bachelor’s degree and previous experience.

Average Yearly Salary: $108,164

Natural Gas Engineer

These engineers develop, install, and maintain equipment used in the processing of oil and gas. A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement.

Average Yearly Salary: $89,088


4. Power Generation

Power generation involves converting various forms of energy into electricity. These sources of energy include clean and renewable sources, such as water and wind as well as modern technologies such as nuclear power generation.

Careers in power generation require workers of various skill levels to fill positions. You’ll find high-paying jobs that require extensive education as well as entry-level jobs that also pay extremely well!

Check out these best-paying jobs in power generation:

Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators control, operate, and maintain machinery and equipment used to generate electric power. Many companies look for applicants with technical schooling but offer on-the-job training as well.

Average Yearly Salary: $80,850

Wind Farm Site Manager

Wind farm site managers supervise the daily operations of a wind plant, from performance and safety to maintenance and repair. Requirements typically include a high school diploma and experience in renewable energy.

Average Yearly Salary: $124,010

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers help build power plants by looking after each aspect of the construction. They also improve power plants to increase efficiency. This position requires at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Average Yearly Salary: $69,140


5. Oilfield & Pipeline

Oil pipeline jobs are not only an essential part of the oil and gas industry, but they provide good-paying career opportunities as well as career advancement. 

With the growth of the industry not slowing down, there will always be oil pipeline jobs!

Here are some of the best-paying positions:

Pipeline Technician

Pipeline technicians maintain and oversee pipeline systems by testing, repairing, and maintaining pipeline equipment. Although there are college programs available for this position, you can become a pipeline technician with a high school diploma.

Average Yearly Salary: $76,454

Pipeline Scheduler

Pipeline schedulers schedule and plan crude oil and gas distribution through designated pipeline systems. This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, or a related field.

Average Yearly Salary: $55,164

Pipeline Welder

Pipeline welders join and repair pipes by measuring, cutting, and welding. You only need a high school diploma to get started in an apprenticeship program.

Average Yearly Salary: $69,378


6. Oil & Gas Production

Oil and gas production is the process of taking crude oil and processing it into liquid hydrocarbons and gas, almost always at a refinery. Refineries hire many positions to carry out both routine and complex tasks.

These are some of the best-paying jobs in oil and gas production:

Stationary Engineers

Stationary engineers operate and maintain engines and mechanical equipment such as steam engines, turbines, motors, and steam boilers. A bachelor’s degree is not necessary but an associate’s degree combined with vocation or on-the-job training is ideal.

Average Yearly Salary: $81,230

Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians conduct tests to assist in analyzing solids, liquids, and gases for quality control, processing, and maintaining environmental standards. This position requires advanced education.

Average Yearly Salary: $48,750

Refinery Control Operator

These operators analyze operations to regulate temperature, pressure, rate of flow, and tank levels. This position requires a high school diploma as well as hands-on vocational training.

Average Yearly Salary: $60,781


7. Integrated Oil

Integrated oil and gas companies explore, produce, refine, and distribute oil and gas, specializing in all segments of the industry. Companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil are integrated oil and gas companies.

Integrated gas companies operate within three categories: upstream, midstream, and downstream. Because they are involved in these processes, there is no shortage of jobs!

Here are some of the highest-paying jobs in integrated oil:

Pipeline Construction Manager

Pipeline construction managers lead a team of construction superintendents to complete subcontracted work. This position requires at least a civil engineering degree or a construction technology diploma.

Average Yearly Salary: $81,563

HSE Manager

HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) managers design and implement safety programs. To become an HSE manager, you need occupational safety and health education.

Average Yearly Salary: $77,425

Well Tester

Well testers assess and evaluate oil wells before any operations using that well are carried out. You can become a well tester with a high school diploma and gain experience on the job.

Average Yearly Salary: $47,808


8. Oil & Gas Transmission

During the midstream phase of oil and gas production, various products need to be transported and transmitted. This highly integrated network moves oil and gas all around the continent through pipelines, production areas, and storage facilities.

Here are a few of the best-paying jobs in oil and gas transmission:

Oil and Gas Transportation Operator

These operators transport liquid and gas products, equipment, and other supplies using transport trucks, tankers, and other specialized vehicles. A high school diploma and CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) are required.

Average Yearly Salary: $67,723

Pipeline Transportation Laborers

Pipeline transportation laborers assist with the manual labor required to construct, operate, and maintain pipelines. This entry-level (yet well-paying) position requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

Average Yearly Salary: $65,000

Truck Operators

Truck operators use various vehicles for transportation of oil and gas, equipment, and supplies. Skills can be learned on the job with a high school diploma but experience is an asset as well.

Average Yearly Salary: $40,950


9. Solar Panel

With a growing interest in renewable energy sources, solar power has grown in the energy industry, with continued growth expected!

The types of jobs available when it comes to solar panels are varied and many well-paying positions are available.

Here are a few solar panel jobs you should check out:

Construction Laborers

Construction laborers such as welders and steelworkers are necessary for building solar panels and related structures. Many of these positions involve apprenticeship programs, which you can begin with a high school diploma.

Average Yearly Salary: $42,843

Solar Electricians

Electricians install and maintain solar panels and wiring. They also use equipment to operate and control generating plants, substations, and monitoring equipment. These positions often require an apprenticeship program.

Average Yearly Salary: $62,296

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Of course, solar panels have to be installed, which is why solar installers are crucial to this industry. Only a high school diploma is typically required, although experience with installation is beneficial.

Average Yearly Salary: $41,925


Energy Career Paths - How to Get Started

This list gives you an overview of the best-paying jobs in energy - but how do you get to these high-paying positions?

  1. Most importantly, you do not need a college or university degree to start in the energy industry. Many entry-level positions offer on-the-job training and will help you get your foot in the door!
  2. Even if you can’t afford a college education, you can start with an entry-level job and work your way up.
  3. You should consider which path you want to take, but it’s important to note that experience in one energy sector can easily translate to another if you decide to change your career down the road.
  4. Overall, getting involved in the energy industry is the perfect opportunity to learn while you work and gain the skills you need to advance into the best-paying jobs in energy!

High-Paying Energy Jobs

Whether you are itching to get started in the oil and gas industry or have a passion for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, there are high-paying jobs in energy waiting for you!

Some high-paying jobs require extensive schooling while others require hard work and dedication - making this the perfect industry for individuals of any skill level.

As long as you’re passionate about this career path, there is nothing stopping you!