Top 15 Best Paying Jobs in Oilfield Services/Equipment (Updated 2024)

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs in Oilfield Services/Equipment   

Despite the pandemic-related decline and other economic events, the oil and gas industry is still growing and has a promising future.

The oil and gas industry has as bright a future today as it ever has, with the top 15 best paying jobs in oilfield services/equipment representing exciting (and very lucrative) employment opportunities for those looking to build a new career.

Global demand for crude oil alone has skyrocketed over the last decade and is projected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next 20 years, too. Right now more than 100 million barrels of oil per day are needed to maintain the global economy, and that number is expected to balloon up to 130 million to 140 million barrels per day by the time 2045 rolls around.

As long as the world demands cheap, reliable, and efficient energy there’s always a demand for oil – and that means there’s going to be a demand for oilfield services and equipment careers.

What is the Oilfield Services/Equipment Industry?

Oilfield services and equipment positions run a wide gamut with some of these positions having to do exclusively with equipment sales and lease arrangements and others having a lot more to do with the hands on usage of the services and tools.

This diversity of career opportunities is what makes the oilfield services/equipment industry such an exciting place to build a career – a lucrative career, at that.

Many of the skills learned in one oilfield service position are immediately transferable to another in the oilfield equipment world (and vice versa). That means there’s a lot of opportunity for lateral movements across the industry, leaning on the experience you built to leapfrog into new positions, new careers, and new salary brackets.

Are Oilfield Services/Equipment Jobs a Good Career Path?

The demand for jobs in the oilfield services/equipment world has never been higher.

From 2018 to 2019 this industry saw almost 10% growth in the amount of new positions created, and that pace hasn’t slowed down even a little bit. In fact, many industry experts anticipate this pace to quicken even more across the next five years – opening up a whole lot of new career opportunities and positions at very competitive pay and benefit levels.

Some of these positions are “blue-collar”, some of them are “fieldwork”, and some of them are certainly more in the “white-collar” world to be sure. That means there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for anyone and everyone looking to get going on the ground floor in this business.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s jump into the top 15 best paying jobs in oilfield services/equipment today.

Best Paying Jobs in Oilfield Services/Equipment

1. Equipment Sales

Median Salary – $175,000

Education – High School Diploma

Projected Growth – 9%

If there’s one single job to look for amongst the top 15 best paying jobs in oilfield services/equipment it has to be in equipment sales.

This kind of job can be started by absolutely anyone, regardless of your education level, and regardless of your professional track record in the past. The jobs are open to literally anyone and everyone – and if you have just a little bit of sales background the odds of you succeeding straight out of the gate are pretty significant.

The number one reason that people want to get into this position is because the base pay is so high (we’re talking about at least six figures) with an almost unlimited amount of opportunity for skyhigh commissions, too.

As you can imagine, the price points for oilfield services and equipment aren’t exactly the least expensive things in the world. Commissions of even 2% on these types of sales can represent huge windfall checks – and it’s possible for equipment sales in the oilfield world to make multiple sales each month (let alone each year).

2. Drilling Tech

Median Salary – $76,000

Education – High School Diploma

Projected Growth – 8%

Crude oil and natural gas are incredibly valuable natural resources, but they have absolutely zero value whatsoever until they are physically extracted from the earth itself.

That’s where drilling technicians come into play.

The actual “boots on the ground” professionals that work the drilling equipment and utilized oilfield services to pull these resources from the earth, drilling technicians are well compensated – and do not necessarily need to have the highest level of education beyond your high school education, either.

Best of all, drilling technicians can often work a couple of months all year round, make nearly 6 figures – or more – in that chunk of time and then take the rest of the year off if they’d like. Their jobs are always (ALWAYS) in demand.

3. Oil Tester

Median Salary – $50,000

Education – High School Diploma with On-The-Job Training

Projected Growth – 7%

Pipelines in the oilfield world need to be inspected on a regular basis, evaluated to make sure that they are still producing profitably, and for better understanding how those pipelines can be improved upon and optimized to work even more efficiently.

This is the job for oil testers.

Oil testers can get into the oilfield services and equipment industry with a high school diploma so long as they are willing to learn on the job. This is something that anyone can pick up relatively quickly, a job that is always in demand, and a job that also comes with fantastic pay and some travel perks, too.

4. Chemical Engineer

Median Salary – $83,000

Education – Advanced Engineering Degree

Projected Growth – 8%

Chemical engineers are amongst some of the most educated members of the oilfield services and equipment industry, working with teams across all drilling sites – and management at every level of oilfield companies – to convert natural resources into usable materials as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.

As well as those responsibilities, chemical engineers are also almost always charged with guaranteeing the safe storage and transportation of raw materials at these drilling sites. They’ll come up with safety protocols, they’ll make sure that the site is operating in compliance of laws and regulations, and they’ll always audit the systems to make sure that they are a safe and effective as can be.

5. Account Manager

Median Salary – $76,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 5%

Account managers might not have the “sexiest” career in the top 15 best paying jobs in oilfield services/equipment, but they play a critical role all the same.

These account managers are in charge of working hand-in-hand with service and equipment sales people, negotiating clients during the sales process, keeping clients happy after the sales process, and doing absolutely everything in their power to successfully handle customer relations every step of the way.

Executive account managers are paid very well, do not have a high educational barrier of entry into this career field, and enjoy the kinds of perks – and stable income – that few others (even in the oilfield services and equipment industry) enjoy.

6. Vessel Manager


Median Salary – 73,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 5%

Vessel managers are often found offshore, making sure that oil and petroleum resources that are being pulled from beneath the surface of the ocean are being pulled out as safely and as efficiently as reasonably possible.

It’s not unusual for these experts to be working across all drilling tasks, working side-by-side with the drilling technicians themselves to make sure that these jobs are performed according to all regulations, according to all safety protocols, and in a way that pulls these natural resources from the ground under the ocean quickly and efficiently.

7. Operations Director


Median Salary – $93,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 7%

Companies in the oilfield services and equipment industry have to market their services effectively, have to have their own internal sales teams to find new clients and customers, and need to manage these operations so that they are humming along like a well oiled machine (no pun intended).

That’s the role and responsibility of the operations director.

Sometimes wearing a management hat and coming up with schedules, handling logistics, and shuffling in different people and resources around, operations directors are always looking for ways to move the organization forward – putting people in the right places to succeed and squeezing as much profitability out of their efforts as possible.

Long-term goals and objectives are always first and foremost in the minds of successful operations directors, too. They want to put resources in place for everyone to succeed, recognizing that when everyone is pulling in the same direction the odds of success skyrocket.

8. Lease Purchase Operator

Median Salary – $115,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 8%

In the oilfield services world few people are as consequential as lease purchase operators.

The professionals in this career field work to guarantee that oil and gas are transported both to and from drilling sites, processing plants, processing infrastructure, and “final destination” sites safely and intact.

They also work to make sure that the logistics behind this transportation system are always working in concert with one another. They regularly inspect and evaluate transportation fleet vehicles, equipment is inspected for corrosion and damage, and regular maintenance, repairs, and upgrades are recommended by these experts, too.

9. Safety Director


Median Salary – $163,000

Education – Bachelor Degree and Advanced Safety Training

Projected Growth – 9%

Few people in the oilfield services and equipment industry have as much responsibility – or as much power – as safety directors.

The number one person on every single job in the oil industry (and the gas industry, for that matter) when it comes to safety and responsibility, these men and women are the absolute last say as far as operations, investments in equipment, and deployment of different tools and technology are concerned.

Always collaborating with other members of the on-site team to come up with safety procedures and policies that help keep people protected, they also conduct safety inspections, safety audits, and have the power to completely stop all activities – and all purchases of oilfield services and equipment – instantly.

10. Project Supervisor

Median Salary – $82,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 7%

All project managers are on the hook for guaranteeing that projects move forward (from start to finish) on track, on budget, and ideally ahead of schedule whenever possible – all without cutting any corners as far as safety or regulations are concerned.

Great project managers and project supervisors have exceptional communication skills, a fantastic ability to keep themselves and their projects organized, and uncanny abilities to work well under pressure and up against tight deadlines.

11. Project Engineer

Median Salary – $87,000

Education – Advanced Degree in Project Engineering

Projected Growth – 6%

Project engineers work together with other departments to come up with and design all new major maintenance projects, repairs, replacements, and upgrades to guarantee that they are completed safely, on schedule, and within the budget allotted.

These professionals are also going to review progress updates and reports, speak to all department heads and team leaders to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and handle the approval of any proposed equipment purchases, new services taking advantage of, or construction changes that are expected to be rolled out.

12. Petro Sales Rep

Median Salary – $80,000

Education – High School Diploma

Projected Growth – 7%

Petro sales representatives are very well-paid in the oilfield services and equipment industry, ranking right up there with equipment sales representatives – especially when you consider the kinds of commissions that are available at this level.

Responsible for selling either finished petroleum products, petroleum raw materials, refined petroleum, is not at all uncommon for these types feels to be worth millions of dollars – and commission checks on that kind of sale can be pretty significant.

Sales experience helps to get your foot in the door at these companies, but the growth is so significant that almost anyone is welcome to apply, receive sales training, and sink or swim on their own merit.

13. Core Driller


Median Salary – $70,000

Education – High School Diploma

Projected Growth – 5%

One of the most exciting things about becoming a core driller is that this career field is in demand absolutely everywhere on the planet, opening up (almost) unlimited opportunities to build a career worldwide.

For one thing, this means that these kinds of jobs are in demand right now and will be in demand for years and years to come. Getting your foot in the door should be relatively easy. Secondly, because of this competition and demand it’s easier to get promotions, easier to get raises, and easier to laterally move to new companies to make more money, too.

14. Gas Plant Operator

Median Salary – $91,000

Education – High School Diploma

Projected Growth – 8%

Gas plant operators are some of the most unsung heroes in the oilfield services and equipment world.

Responsible for very grueling, very challenging, and very mentally demanding work – often while being exposed to corrosive and combustible toxic gases – these jobs are well-paid and they earn every single penny.

15. HSE Management

Median Salary – $103,000

Education – Bachelor Degree

Projected Growth – 4%

Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSC) managers are the folks in charge of developing and then later implementing all different kinds of organizational safety systems, programs, and protocols across the oilfield services and equipment industry.

These professionals are also responsible for handling risk assessment when leveraging new services and equipment, coming up with precautionary measures and contingency protocols, and so much more.

Closing Thoughts

Unlike a lot of other high-paying industries, breaking into the top 15 best paying jobs in oilfield services/equipment is often a lot easier than many people expect.

For one thing, a lot of the better paying jobs in this industry are open and available to folks regardless of their educational background. Building a new career from scratch is relatively simple and straightforward, with the job training available to get folks up to speed.

On top of that, though, these positions are almost always incredibly lucrative – and are only going to be showered with more and more financial rewards moving forward.

This is as recession proof and industry as there is, as future proof and industry as there is, and building a 20+ year career here isn’t at all abnormal.


What are the highest paying jobs in the oilfield service and equipment industry?

When you take commission opportunities into consideration there are no jobs in this industry that pay better than those in sales. The kinds of contracts salespeople can produce in this business are significant, and commission checks on them are fantastic.

Will these career opportunities exist years – or even decades – into the future?

While the renewable energy industry is growing by leaps and bounds the odds are pretty good that there’s always going to be a demand for oilfield work, oilfield services, and oilfield equipment. These jobs are going to be around for the long haul.

Do I need any special education to break into this industry?

Though there are career positions in the oilfield services and equipment world that ask you to have a college education (or advanced degrees), a significant amount of the most lucrative positions do not require you to have anything more than a high school education or its equivalent, a solid work ethic, and a will to learn on the job.

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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