Nigel Wright survey reveals average pay in the oil and gas sector tops £80,000

A survey from Nigel Wright suggests industry stakeholders, such as recruiters, have played a part in driving up wages

Andy Buchanan/PA Wire An oil rig in the North Sea
An oil rig in the North Sea

Salaries and benefits across the oil and gas sector have continued to rise over the last 12 months, a significant survey of workers has revealed.

The average earnings for an oil and gas worker has now reached £80,000 a year, with salaries ranging from between £30,000 at non-management level up to £250,000 at senior management level.

Around 1,000 workers were questioned for recruiters Nigel Wright’s 2014 UK Oil and Gas Salary Survey, which showed staff are willing to move around to achieve the best package.

Some 55% of respondents indicated they were planning to change jobs in the next 18 months, and half had been with their current employer for less than two years.

However, companies are becoming wiser to that inflated salary and benefits packages have been instigated by industry stakeholders such as recruiters, warned Anthony Broadhead, managing consultant for Nigel Wright’s Energy Division.

He added: “Companies are beginning to combat this by being creative around the benefits packages they offer, in the knowledge that money perhaps isn’t always the best way to attract talent.

“Certainly, the results of our survey highlight that although financial rewards remain important, there are in fact a range of other benefits that are attractive to candidates in today’s market.”

George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, said: “While the pool of skilled and experienced personnel is finite there will always be pressure on wages in the oil & gas sector.

Ian McClelland Photography Ltd George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy
George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy

“Skills shortages, not just in the UK, but in the global energy industry, are a factor in driving up wages as companies have to pay premium salaries to attract and retain staff.

“However, the industry is trying to address the skills issue through greater investment in apprenticeships and by retraining engineers from other industries, which can help increase the pool of available workers and better control costs.”

The survey covered a broad range of sub-sectors within the oil and gas field, including engineering, supply chain, planning, health and safety, sales and marketing, business development, finance and HR.

The sector appeared to be still heavily male dominated as just 12% of the 1,000 respondents were female. Nearly 60% of respondents were educated to degree level and the average age of the sample was 45.

40% of respondents received both a company and personal bonus, while 75% of respondents received a company performance related bonus as part of their pay package, the average being 11%. These proportions ranged from an average of 6% at non-management level to 23% at C-Level.

Across the pay scales it was revealed that lower tier support staff worked an average of 43 hours a week, while senior management level staff worked 53, on average.


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