US E&P Workers Getting Paid More in 2019
Crude production in the U.S. has continued to break records this year as drillers find ways to be more efficient. And at the end of 2018, industry recruiters expressed that they planned on recruiting more in early 2019, according to a survey conducted by Rigzone.
With the exception of places like the Permian Basin, exploration and production (E&P) workers haven’t always fared as well as their counterparts in other sectors (i.e. midstream, downstream) regarding employment following the downturn.
But CSI Recruiting’s 2019 E&P Salary Report reveals a positive hiring outlook for upstream workers in 2019.
The report, now in its 15th year, analyzes data from more than 3,200 full-time, salaried E&P workers currently employed in the U.S.
CSI Recruiting president Jeff Bush said for the first several weeks of January, the phones at their Colorado and Texas offices began to ring and companies who were actively hiring during that time period found “strong candidates across skill sets with reasonable compensation expectations and a willingness to make a change.”
Still, he cautioned that the hiring process would be slow in 2019.
“We are anticipating periods of time – weeks, perhaps a month or two – where little hiring occurs, as the industry pauses over a pricing dip or summer vacations impact decision-making,” he said. “We’re optimistic for 2019, although battle-tested enough to know it will be another year of swings in sentiment and activity level.”
Higher Pay for Engineering Technicians
The salary report looks at base salary data for technical positions in petroleum engineering, geoscience and land management disciplines.
Compared to last year’s report, on average, most E&P workers are enjoying higher salaries this year.
Engineering technicians/analysts experienced the biggest boost in pay, earning an average of $108,416 in 2019. This is a 7.2 percent increase from 2018 and the largest increase of any skill set in the report.
Salaries for engineering technicians/analysts will continue to rise as demand for those experienced workers stays high and the supply of candidates remains flat, the report noted.
Reservoir engineers, geologists, geophysicists and geoscience technicians/GIS analysts also saw their salaries increase in 2019.
Conversely, drilling engineers, production/operations engineers and landmen all saw their salaries decrease in 2019.
Bush admitted to being surprised by some of this year’s findings.
“We assumed that salaries for some skill sets would be down, however it was a surprise to us that production/operations engineers and drilling engineers both saw a dip in base and bonus percentage compensation,” he told Rigzone. “That, and we were surprised by the strong increase in base salary for engineering technicians.”
Midland, Texas, which is home to the Permian Basin, continues to see strong hiring demand, while the Rockies and Mid-Continent (Oklahoma) are seeing declines in salaries and overall hiring demand.
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