The following oil and gas industry employment statistics will give you a better understanding of this massive industry and its overall workforce.

First and foremost, the petroleum industry is one of the leading sectors all over the world. Most oil production comes from the Middle East (mainly Saudi Arabia and Iraq), the US, Russia, and Canada.

Despite the global nature of this industry, most employees feel less safe about their jobs than they did years ago. Many experts argue that the pandemic is the main reason for this ambiguity.

Let’s dive right into some fascinating facts about the oil and gas industry.

Oil and Gas Industry Employment Trends (Editor’s Pick)

  • The latest statistics show that the oil and gas industry in the US employs around 10.3 million people.
  • The global oil and gas market size is estimated to reach $5,870.13 billion in 2021.
  • Approximately 6.7 million Americans work in the energy field.
  • Gazprom is the leading oil and gas company in the world, with 477,600 employees.
  •  51% of the oil produced in the US comes from the hydraulic fracturing industry.
  • The US consumed around 18.12 million barrels of oil per day in 2020.
  • The average salary for a fracking job is $52,202.
  • In the US, the median hourly wage for an oil rig worker is $24.

General Oil and Gas Industry Employment Statistics

1. The latest statistics show that the oil and gas industry in the US employs around 10.3 million people.

(API; The Conversation)

When it comes to natural gas and oil production, the US is one of the world’s leading countries. But, how many Americans work in the oil industry? An API study from 2017 revealed that the industry supported a whopping 10.3 million US jobs. According to the study, the occupations sustained by this industry have seen an increase of 500,000 new employees since 2011.

Joe Biden’s administration proposed introducing a clean-energy plan that would cause the disappearance of all the oil and gas sector’s employment, an equivalent of 6.5% of the US’s total jobs. 

2. The global oil and gas market size reached $5,870.13 billion in 2021.

(Globe News Wire)

As this is an international sector, it’s not shocking that the oil and gas industry’s size grew to $5,870.13 billion in 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.5%.

One of the reasons determining this industry’s growth is that companies are still recovering from the havoc caused by COVID-19. The world underwent a restrictive lockdown, which enforced social distancing, remote working, and the closure of many businesses. Hence, even the oil and gas industry suffered greatly from the consequences.

On the bright side, oil industry statistics demonstrate that the market will most likely reach $7,425.02 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6%.

3. Approximately 6.7 million Americans work in the energy field.

(National Association of State Energy Officials)

Electric power generation, transmission distribution, energy efficiency, and motor vehicles are the main sectors making up energy employment. According to the latest data from 2019, this industry constitutes around 4.6% of the overall American workforce, an increase of 151,700 over 2017.

According to the latest energy sector employment statistics, this sector accounted for creating roughly 7% of all new jobs in the country.

4. Gazprom is the leading oil and gas company in the world, with 477,600 employees.


When it comes to employment, the Russian company Gazprom is the world’s largest oil and gas business in the world. In 2021, Gazprom has 477,600 employees. PetroChina comes in second place with 432,000 employees, and Sinopec (China) is third with 384,070 workers. Rosneft, in fourth place, has a much lower number of employees in the oil and gas industry — the company has around 334,600 employees at the moment.

(International Association of Oil & Gas Producers)

The latest data registered by IOGP reported a fall in the total recordable injury rate (TRIR). In 2019, the injuries per million work hours were approximately 0.92 compared to the average TRIR for the oil and gas industry in the previous years — only in 2018, the TRIR was around 0.99.

The IOGP members engaged in this study reported that, in that same year, 703 incidents occurred. While 551 incidents were associated with contractors, the remaining 152 involved the oil and gas companies.

6. The US consumed around 18.12 million barrels of oil per day in 2020.


Although the US is one of the predominant oil and gas providers, only a small quantity of petroleum is consumed directly.

So, the question is: how much oil does the US consume in total? 

In 2020, the US went through an average of 18.12 million barrels of petroleum per day, making up about 6.63 billion barrels of petroleum per year. Surprisingly, this was the lowest oil consumption level since 1995 and the largest recorded year-on-year decrease in oil consumption in the US. The devastating effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the industry is the main reason for this massive fall.

Fracking Statistics 

7. The average salary for a fracking job is $52,202.


Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, can be dangerous for both the environment and humans. Without the proper safety regulations, it can poison aquifers, pollute surface water, and endanger wildlife. Accordingly, fracking is critical for our planet due to small explosions and a mix of water, sand, and chemicals that dig into the land.

Yet, how much do fracking jobs pay? According to Glassdoor, the annual salaries can range as high as $105,000 and as low as $26,000. However, the average salary for fracking currently sits around the middle at $52,202 per year. Bear in mind that these numbers are rough estimates that constantly change.

8. The US could lose 14.8 million jobs by 2022 if the fracking industry is banned.

(Global Energy Institute)

The US would face disastrous consequences if the hydraulic fracturing industry were to be shut down.

The latest Global Energy Institute report asked, “How many jobs will be lost if fracking is banned?” 

By 2022, nearly 15 million people would lose their jobs if fracking didn’t exist anymore. What’s more, gasoline and electricity prices would double, causing a shocking $4,000 annual increase in living costs for American households.

9. 51% of the oil produced in the US comes from the hydraulic fracturing industry.


According to the US Energy Information Administration, the number of hydraulically fractured wells rose to about 300,000 by 2015. The production from those wells currently accounts for around 51% of the total oil manufacturing in the US.

As for gas, the fracking industry provides over two-thirds, constituting 67% of the entire nation’s gas production.

Oil and Gas Employment Statistics 

10.  In the US, the median hourly wage for an oil rig worker is $24.


Oil rigs commonly drill for oil both onshore and offshore. As these complex pieces of machinery require many workers, oil rig employees have different experience levels, education, certifications, and additional abilities — managers, engineers, and oil laborers are all oil rigs workers.

As of July 2021, the average oil rig worker salary works out to be very close to the median - around $25. Nevertheless, wages can range from around $18 to $34 per hour. This data suggests that the oil rig industry gives one of the most profitable compensations out there.

11. The average oil field worker makes $40,000 per year.

(Talent; Indeed)

According to Indeed, the salary in the oil field industry varies a lot depending on the particular occupation. Thanks to the high employment demand in this sector, the oil field counts many job positions such as maintenance workers, supervisors, entry-level machine operators, and laborers. 

The average oil field worker salary at the time of writing this article was around $40,000 per year, which works out to approximately $20.51 per hour. This is a rough estimate, based on over 400 salaries shared with by workers from the industry.

12. Accountants in the oil and gas industry earn, on average, $68,250 per year.


Based on 50 salaries gathered by, the average oil and gas accountant earns around $68,250 per year or approximately $35 per hour. The lowest oil and gas accounting salaries begin at an annual $57,500 for entry-level positions, while the most experienced workers can make up to $87,500 per year.

13. At $157,795 per year, project management is the top-paying job in the oil and gas industry.

(Oil Price)

Despite setbacks in the past, the oil and gas industry still offers some of the highest salaries of any occupation in the US, especially for those in management roles.

Among the highest paying oil and gas jobs, project managers lead the pack with an annual salary of $157,795. This comes as little surprise when we consider that they are the glue that holds the entire operation together—and companies will pay more to get the best performance out of their team.

Drilling supervisors rank second, earning an annual salary of $148,476, followed by construction managers. The oil and gas management salary caps change often adjusting to the market, but six figures are a given across all upper management roles.

14. Petroleum engineering offers finished majors the highest starting salary, averaging around $94,000 per year.


Contrary to what you might believe, business, computer science, or maths are not the highest-paying college majors. According to PayScale’s report, petroleum engineering is actually the most lucrative college major.

Entry-level employees with this degree will gain around $94,000. A more experienced engineer will make an average of $175,000 per year. As with other fields, gas and oil engineering salaries highly vary depending on the worker’s experience level. 

Oil and Gas Employment by State 

15. In 2020, Texas lost almost 60,000 oil and gas job positions.

(Houston Chronicle)

The coronavirus outbreak has wounded the oil industry considerably, causing nearly 60,000 workers in Texas to lose their jobs in 2020. 

Oil drilling, extraction, and production saw a drop by more than a quarter during these troubling times. Consequently, the oil and gas industry employment statistics for Texas demonstrate that companies were forced to cut many costs, including laying off thousands and thousands of employees. 

Currently, 150,000 upstream oil and gas employees have managed to keep their job in Texas, the lowest figure in more than 15 years.

16. Wyoming is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the US, after Texas.

(Oil Job Finder)

Not only is Wyoming the second-biggest producer of natural gas, but it’s the nation’s seventh-largest producer of oil, too. The state counts about 38,000 wells, and 20 of the 23 counties are active in the oil and gas sector. According to oil and gas industry employment statistics for 2020, the most extensive area of interest is the Niobrara Shale play, which is responsible for a large portion of the state’s jobs.

17. Louisiana supports more than 300,000 jobs in the oil and gas sector.

(Oil Job Finder)

As a top ten US state when it comes to oil and gas production, over 300,000 positions are either generated directly or supported by the oil industry in Louisiana.

The US oil and gas industry employment statistics for 2020 show that the oil and gas field will continue to expand over the following years, thanks to the new drilling techniques that help companies succeed in different viable areas.

What Can We Take from These Oil and Gas Industry Employment Statistics?

From these statistics, we could learn that employment in the petroleum industry in 2021 is both a chance and a challenge. The downturn induced by the pandemic is responsible for jeopardizing many companies in this field. The pandemic has slowed down the industry considerably and sped up the move towards healthier energy alternatives. However, the real money (and demand) is still very much there for fossil fuels and natural gas, so these industries aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.

Furthermore, working in the oil and gas industry can give enormous benefits in terms of compensation. Yet, the workers in this sector are exposed to a higher risk of fatalities if petroleum companies fail to provide them with proper safety measures.