Oil and gas salaries looking up in the second half of 2013, survey shows

Global oil and gas hiring may see only a small bump in the second half of 2013, but energy recruiters expect salaries to keep up their rapid climb, according to an international workforce survey released this week.

Fifty-six percent of North American and South American oil and gas recruiters said they aim to increase contract and salary pay rates in the second half of the year, while only 6.6 percent said pay would head lower, according to OilCareers.com and Air Energi.

But the continents’ optimism for new hires lagged behind the rest of the world. Thirty-six percent of North and South American energy companies said they would expect to increase payrolls. That’s compared to 51 percent in Africa, 50 percent in the Asia Pacific region, and 44 percent in the Middle East.

Just over half of the respondents from the Americas said headcounts wouldn’t budge, while 11 percent said they could reduce staffing in the second half of the year.

More jobs

However, within the U.S., jobs in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and other shale plays continue to rise, and offshore work in the Gulf of Mexico is ramping up as operators aim to return to production levels they reached before the BP oil spill in 2010, the report notes.

“The U.S. is on course for energy independence with unconventionals and increased offshore exploration and production leading the charge,” said Joe Jones, a business development executive at OilCareers.com, in a written statement.

August data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows oil and gas industry jobs have grown 40 percent in the U.S. between 2007 and 2012, far above the 1 percent growth in U.S. payrolls. And the oil industry snapped up new 23,000 jobs in the first half of 2013, according to the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association’s report released this week.

High demand, high pay

In the OilCareers.com survey, the Americas beat out only Europe in the percentage of recruiters who expected pay rates to rise. The Asia Pacific region led the global industry with 71 percent of recruiters and executives bullish on pay bumps, followed by Australia with 70 percent and Africa at 65 percent.

Still, the U.S. oil and gas industry makes high marks for compensation even as employees work long hours, according to PayScale.com.

Sixty-two percent of recruiters from across the globe pegged engineers as the most-wanted professional, followed by project managers (17.7 percent), jobs in drilling (11.1 percent) and geologists (4.6 percent), according to OilCareers.com.

The survey reached out to 170,000 recruiters in the oil and gas industry worldwide, but the report did not specify how many people responded.


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