Top 15 Best Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution (Updated 2024)

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution   

Natural gas distribution has a variety of high-paying positions. You can choose from a variety of office employment, fieldwork, on-site roles, and other positions.

The modern world runs on affordable and efficient supplies of energy, and natural gas meets those demands more than maybe anything else out there.

Finding a career in natural gas distribution can set you up financially for the rest of your life. It certainly doesn’t hurt that these career fields are also often very rewarding, and intellectually challenging, and provide a whole host of unique experiences and benefits, too.

Check out these other popular articles on best paying jobs:

What Are Jobs in the Natural Gas Distribution Industry?

Jobs in the natural gas distribution industry encompass a whole range of responsibilities, from the folks that are actually transporting the natural gas itself to the people responsible for maintaining, upgrading, constructing, and even conceiving the distribution systems.

There are a ton of unique opportunities in this career right now. Jobs are always in demand, salaries are fantastic, and you don’t necessarily need to have a lot of college education to get yourself in on the ground floor.

Are Natural Gas Distribution Jobs a Good Career Path?

A career path in the natural gas distribution industry is about as secure as it gets.

Sure, there are some fluctuations in the natural gas business on a day-to-day basis – but the long-term outlook for this industry is bright and getting brighter all the time. Our modern world is always going to have clean, efficient, and inexpensive energy and that means there’s always going to be a demand for natural gas to be distributed.

These kinds of careers are going to be around for 20, 40, 50 years (and longer)!

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution

1. Drilling Contractor

Median Salary – $99,630

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 9%

If you’d like to get yourself into one of the most lucrative career fields in natural gas distribution right out of the gate, with the potential to make almost 6 figures in your first few years on the job, then a drilling contractor position is worth a closer look.

Make no mistake, though, these jobs are no cakewalk. Drilling contractors are part of a huge drilling team, responsible for maintaining equipment, drilling into pockets of natural gas, and safely extracting that gas for distribution.

A huge piece of the natural gas industry, nothing happens at all in this business until drilling contractors start pulling resources from the ground!

2. Petroleum Engineer

Median Salary – $81,935 a year

Education – Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 10%

Petroleum engineers are employed by every natural gas company under the sun.

These professionals are responsible for coming up with the methods necessary to extract natural gas from the earth safely, efficiently, and profitably. Petroleum engineers often have a real nice blend of office and field work opportunities, bouncing from air-conditioned offices to natural gas fields all over the world while combining brainpower and muscle power at the same time.

It’s not at all unusual for these kinds of professionals to work with other engineers on the team to maximize extraction strategies, reduce and minimize loss as much as possible, and even work in the decommissioning of natural gas operations that are closing down.

3. Project Engineer

Median Salary – $81,895

Education – Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 10%

Every major natural gas project requires a project engineer (often a small army of them) on site to keep things running smoothly.

These are the professionals responsible for analyzing a project, determining exactly what materials are necessary to complete that project, and come up with the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to bring that site online.

Often working side-by-side with construction managers and contractors (as well as other engineers), these are the folks responsible for designing and developing natural gas distribution sites – amongst other things.

4. Chemical Engineer

Close-up researcher holding glassware

Median Salary – $81,092

Education – Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 9%

Anytime you’re working with something as potentially dangerous or combustible as natural gas (particularly in its raw form and around heavy equipment) you need to have chemical engineers on hand.

Chemical engineers work with natural gas distribution companies throughout every step of the natural gas production process. They work to design smart and safe systems that can pull natural gas from the ground, transport natural gas, refine natural gas, and distribute natural gas as well.

A huge part of the planning team when designing pipelines, chemical engineers are the ones responsible for making sure that distribution networks of these potentially dangerous chemicals are safe, secure, and operating as efficient as possible.

On top of all of that, chemical engineers in the natural gas distribution industry sometimes hired during the “scouting process”. They work with other professionals – including geologists – to identify profitable pockets of natural gas to pull from the ground for distribution.

5. Natural Gas Design Engineer

Median Salary – $78,787

Education – Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 4%

Natural gas distribution centers don’t just spring about of the ground prebuilt, but instead have to be designed – right down to the finest level of detail.

When you are talking about transporting, refining, and distributing natural gas you’re talking about working with materials that are incredibly volatile, incredibly flammable, and very dangerous if anything is overlooked.

Natural gas design engineers work together to create plans and blueprints for incredibly (and increasingly) complex construction projects.

Often hired on a contractor basis (but sometimes part of in-house natural gas distribution company teams), these experts work with their clients to envision and outline actual distribution plants and facilities.

These are experts in making sure that operations are able to deliver natural gas safely, effectively, efficiently, and profitably while staying in full compliance of all local, state, and federal rules and regulations.

6. Engineering Platform Manager

Median Salary – $78,289

Education – Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 4%

These engineers are often going to work hand-in-hand with the management of natural gas distribution companies, looking for ways to design smarter, safer, and more efficient – not to mention more profitable – platforms in this industry.

Frequently coordinating with all other engineering teams (as well as non-engineering departments), those that excel in this position are fantastic communicators, great leaders, and always looking for new ways to improve the operations of the businesses that they work for.

7. Construction Management

Workers standing and checking beside working oil pumps.

Median Salary – $76,916

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 7%

Somebody has to be the “boots on the ground” during the construction of natural gas distribution facilities, organizing the contractors and tradesmen, making sure material arrives on time, and keeping these projects running on budget.

That’s where construction managers come into play.

Fantastic delegators, the best construction management professionals are always going to have their finger on the pulse of the project they are overseeing right down to the smallest possible details.

Building work schedules, organizing material deliveries, and making sure that delays and emergencies do not negatively impact the timeline for bringing these sites online are just a few of the responsibilities that these professionals have.

It’s not unusual for construction managers to also be skilled tradespeople themselves, understanding how to use heavy machinery and equipment to bring natural gas distribution sites online themselves.

While a lot of construction managers have a bachelor’s degree under their belt already, many start in the trades and then work their way up to these positions with nothing more than a high school diploma (or equivalent).

8. Environmental Health Compliance Officer

Median Salary – $71,984

Education – Bachelor or Master’s Degree

Projected Growth – 6%

Anytime you’re working with natural resources like natural gas – and especially when you have mining and extraction operations that could negatively impact the environment – there needs to be environmental health compliance officers on-site at all times.

These professionals work to not only maintain strict safety standards and adhere to all environmental health regulations, but they also inspect facilities to make sure that they are operating as safely and efficiently as possible, too.

On top of all of that, these experts make sure that all distribution of natural gas is handled safely and securely, that the material is kept away from flammable and incendiary devices, and that pipeline facilities are safe and within regulations, to

9. Project Manager

Median Salary – $77,158

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 11%

If there’s a project happening on a natural gas distribution site the odds are pretty good that a professional project manager is sort of “steering the boat” every step of the way.

Project managers oversee most every aspect of a project from start to finish, making sure that logistics are in order, guaranteeing that material is available and delivered on time, and that the actual people working on the project are given all the resources they need to succeed.

Communication skills, fine attention to detail, leadership capabilities, and great organizational skills are critical to success in this career field.

10. Geographer

Median Salary – $69,885

Education – Specialized Degree

Projected Growth – 2%

Finding natural gas deposits underground is always a challenge, but something that well-trained geographers are more than capable of – especially with today’s tools, training, and technology.

Geographers are hired by natural gas companies to explore potential new sites for natural gas collection as well as distribution. They need to better understand the “lay of the land”, the impact that distribution sites will have on the environment, and leverage powerful imaging equipment to better understand exactly what’s going on beneath the soil, too.

At the end of the day, these experts are tasked with doing everything they can to make sure that natural gas distribution facilities have as minimal an impact on the environment (seen and unseen) as humanly possible.

11. Geologist

Median Salary – $67,894

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 10%

Geologists frequently work hand-in-hand with geographers to better understand the land that natural gas distribution sites are going to be built on, but also to understand where to find natural gas and how to move it as efficiently and with as minimal an impact on the environment as possible.

Some geologists work in the office almost exclusively, others work in the field almost entirely, and others still have a bit of a “hybrid role” that gives them a bit of time in the office and bit of time outside, too.

The insight that geologists provide make them one of the most important of the top 15 best paying jobs in natural gas distribution and a perfect career for those that want to sort of balance office life with fieldwork.

12. Natural Gas Operations Manager

Median Salary – $67,158

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 5%

Unsurprisingly, natural gas distribution operations are always very complex and getting more complex by the day it seems.

Natural gas operations managers work to coordinate with all the different teams involved in natural gas distribution, making sure these facilities run smoothly and safely around-the-clock.

It’s not unusual for these professionals to build schedules for all the different teams on-site, make sure that projects are running smoothly and on time/on budget, and are in frequent communication with other team leaders and managers – both on-site as well as off.

You’ll usually find natural gas operations managers working with local officials, regulatory bodies, and even other companies in the area to make sure that everything is running smoothly, too.

13. Natural Gas Distribution Manager

Median Salary – $66,915

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 4%

The responsibilities of a distribution manager changes on a day-to-day basis, basically conforming to fit whatever’s going on at that facility at that particular point in time.

Sometimes a distribution manager is going to be conducting different tests on the facility equipment and the facility itself to make sure that everything is running smoothly, that critical repairs are not necessary, that preventative maintenance is being done, and that upgrades are being made as needed.

Sometimes, though, distribution managers are going to be working in the field with construction teams and project managers to make sure that work on the facility and distribution network is humming along.

The people that really excel in these positions are often people persons with great communication skills, great organizational skills, and a real attention to detail.

14. Natural Gas Transportation Manager

Median Salary – $66,227

Education – Bachelor’s Degree

Projected Growth – 8%

A huge part of distributing natural gas is making sure that it is transported safely, efficiently, and in full accordance with all local, state, and federal regulations.

On top of that, natural gas distribution and transportation networks need to be carefully coordinated to make sure that everything moves in concert. Even just a couple of mistakes in the logistics of transportation or distribution (no matter how small) can turn into major delays or full-blown emergencies.

Natural gas transportation managers oversee this kind of work, making sure that transportation and distribution facilities run as efficiently as a Swiss watch. They coordinate with the people transporting natural gas, the people responsible for distribution, construction teams, management at every level, and even outside organizations and vendors from time to time.

15. Project Accountants

Median Salary – $64,668

Education – Bachelor and Master’s Degree (as well as professional certifications)

Projected Growth – 6%

The last of the top 15 best paying jobs in natural gas distribution we wanted to highlight here, project accountants are the “money people” responsible for making sure that operations are running on budget and that the finances for these facilities are in order.

Always in close communication and constant coordination with managers and executives at every level, project accountants are a linchpin of any natural gas distribution organization.

On top of their day-to-day budgetary responsibilities, it’s common for these kinds of accountants to oversee audits, clear up any issues or discrepancies in accounting, and generally just take control of and responsibility for the finances of distribution sites.


Are careers in Natural Gas Distribution a smart move now?

As long as human beings require inexpensive, efficient, and consistent supplies of energy there’s going to be a tremendous amount of demand for natural gas. The natural gas industry has been growing year after year for as long as anyone can remember – and future projections for growth in this industry are quite high, too.

A career in natural gas distribution is a smart bet moving forward.

Do I need a ton of education to get in the natural gas distribution industry?

Because of the specialized and sometimes dangerous nature of the natural gas distribution industry it’s not uncommon for careers in this field to require at least a bit of college education. There are some job opportunities available to those with high school education or “on-the-job training” and apprenticeships, though.

What’s the “income ceiling” like in the natural gas distribution industry?

A lot of people in the natural gas distribution business make a fantastic salary right out of the gate, getting close to a six-figure income in their first few years on the job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every single job in the natural gas distribution world offers a six-figure annual income (even with years on the job), but there’s a lot of six-figure income potential across this field for sure.

There’s a lot of money in natural gas right now ($181.4 billion in 2022) and is likely to be even more in the years to come!

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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