It's no secret that the oil and gas industries around the world provide some top paying positions.

Even during a time of economic downturn, where the oil and gas sector has been hit harder than any other, it remains one of the strongest industries around. This makes oil field jobs appealing to many, seeking out well-paying jobs - that don't necessarily require extensive schooling or experience.

But what positions within the oil fields afford the top salaries? Which positions do oilfield workers strive to work their way up to?

Indeed, the question becomes: how much to oil rig workers make?

Below, we will take a look at the those jobs that are among the top 10 highest paying oilfield jobs in the world (note, these positions are global averages, and sourced from various salary aggregator sites - your experience may vary!)

Gas-Plant Operators

Gas Plant Operators make an average of $72,000 per year, with only a half a year's schooling required, along with the necessary safety tickets. These operators deal with the equipment required for the process of converting raw natural gas into forms that are consumer friendly.

Drill Operators

Drill Operators are in charge of, you guessed it, operating the drills that pull the oil from the ground. They typically make on average $98,000 per year.

Well Testers

Well Testers usually travel from site to site inspecting production levels and equipment. While no official schooling is required, strong proficiencies in excel and other computer programming are necessary. Testers will typically make an average of $102,000 per year performing this oil rig job.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineers typically conduct research, create processes, and design equipment. A degree is required, and they can earn an average of $104,000 per year.


Geologists can make an average of $110,000 in the oil and gas industry. They study the physical profile of the Earth and use that information to identify possible drilling locations and scenarios. A bachelors degree is required for these positions.

Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum Engineers work on creating more efficient and effective methods for oil and gas well production. They can make an average of $111,000 annually, excluding bonuses.

Rig Manager

Rig managers oversee the crews on-site and the work being done. Post-Secondary degrees are not required, as often these positions are filled with individuals who have started on the work crew and worked their way up. They can make an average of $126,000 per year.

Completion Driller

This position typically requires an Engineering Degree. Completion drillers perform maintenance operations and set up infrastructures of hydraulic fracturing jobs. They can earn an average of $150,000 annually.


Someone who has many years of experience in the field usually holds this position. They often earn an average of $180,000 per year. The Foreman job is comprised of overseeing day-to-day operations, budgeting, safety, and coordinating contractors.

Drilling Consultant

This position is to be held by someone who is an expert in every aspect of drilling. It requires a Bachelors Degree in Engineer, or higher, and usually involves a lot of travel to various sites. Drilling consultants can earn an average of $230,000 per year!

Which High Paying Job is Right for You?

As you can see, there are many high paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, some of which require extensive schooling, and some that simply require hard work and dedication.