Are you California Dreamin’ for a new job in the oil and gas industry? 

The California oil and gas industry has been a major player for well over a century. Oil production began as a modest operation in the 19th century but quickly evolved throughout the 20th century to become one of the major suppliers of oil and gas in the United States.

With such a booming industry comes the need for entry-level workers - laborers with little to no experience. These may seem like bottom-rung positions but they are the lifeforce of the oil and gas industry and offer many amazing advancement opportunities.

Ready to start working in California? Here are some tips on how to get an entry-level job as well as some high-paying positions you should keep an eye on:


How to Get an Entry-Level Job in the Oilfields

You don’t need years of experience to land an entry-level oilfield job in California. However, there are basic qualifications that should be met when it comes to applying for entry-level jobs:

  • You should be in good physical health and able to lift at least 50 lbs multiple times throughout the day.
  • You should be medically fit and able to operate machinery.
  • You need to be prepared to work long hours when you first start out.
  • You should invest in your own protective gear such as glasses, gloves, and boots.
  • You need to be 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license (having a CDL is also a plus).

When it comes to applying for these jobs, it’s worth noting that companies typically do not advertise entry-level positions. They often use word-of-mouth or reach out to third-party recruiting firms.

Even though you may not find these positions on job boards, there are some tactics you can use to land an entry-level job in California:

  • Contact local outsourcing firms to inquire about available jobs.
  • Look for job openings on job boards but contact their HR department directly to ask about entry-level positions.
  • Join Facebook groups and connect with other oil and gas professionals to get leads on job openings or tips for job searches.
  • Give your resume directly to the company.

Keep in mind that simply handing in your resume is a great way to get on the hiring department’s radar (and the same goes for recruiting firms) - you never know if something may become available down the road!

You may also want to consider giving yourself a competitive edge by taking courses and getting industry-specific certifications. This is a great way to boost your resume!

High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs

1. Mechanics Helper

Average Annual Salary: $30,000

Job Role: Assist the Lead Mechanics to perform repairs and routine maintenance as well as operating heavy equipment.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED

Mechanics Helper Jobs

2. Roustabout

Average Annual Salary: $58,000

Job Role: Maintain equipment and ensure the safe and efficient operation of equipment in the oilfield.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED

Roustabout Jobs

3. Welders Assistant

Average Annual Salary: $47,000

Job Role: Help skilled welders by supplying and holding materials as well as cleaning equipment and work areas.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED, Apprenticeship program

Helper Assistant Jobs

4. Field Techs & Laborers

Average Annual Salary: $56,000

Job Role: Perform a wide variety of hands-on tasks such as installing, maintenance, cleaning, and repairing.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED

Field Technician Jobs

5. Operations Technicians

Average Annual Salary: $82,000

Job Role: Members of a shift team who work with engineering and construction teams to monitor and operate facilities by troubleshooting mechanical problems and performing maintenance tasks.

Requirements: High school/GED, Apprenticeship program

Operations Technician Jobs

6. Heavy Equipment Operators

Average Annual Salary: $73,000

Job Role: Drive or control large pieces of equipment used to build oil and gas pipelines including bulldozers, backhoes, and front-end loaders.

Requirements: High school/GED, 1-2 year Apprenticeship program or industry course

Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs

7. Floorhands

Average Annual Salary: $52,000

Job Role: Complete routine inspections and maintenance on equipment to ensure everything is operated according to safety standards and procedures.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED, Certification from a training program

Floorhand Jobs

8. Truck Drivers

Average Annual Salary: $69,000

Job Role: Operate a variety of vehicles such as flatbeds, tankers, vacuum trucks, swab rigs, hot oil trucks, and water trucks.

Requirements: High school diploma/GED, CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)

Truck Driver Jobs

California is Calling Your Name!

Are you ready to start an exciting new career in the California oilfields?

Don’t forget to check out our Job Seekers page for all the latest and greatest news in the oil and gas industry. You can also sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on news and hot job leads!