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Committed control room personnel monitor pipeline flow

The oil and natural gas industry directly employs almost 2.6 million Americans and supports 9.8 million jobs in America, representing 5.6% of total U.S. employment. For every 1 person directly employed by the U.S. oil and gas industry, an additional 2.8 jobs are supported throughout the economy.

These jobs generated $597.6 billion in associated labor income - including wages, salaries, benefits and proprietors' income, and contributed $1.2 trillion in added value in the economy. The average wage in the oil and gas industry, across many professions, exceeds the national average rate by nearly $50,000.

For opportunities in the oil and natural gas workforce, please find out more information here.

Where the Jobs Are

  • Upstream: 1,150,500 (44%)

  • Upstream operations refer to the exploration and identification of oil and natural gas resources, the design and construction of wells to retrieve those resources and the infrastructure to support retrieval.

  • Midstream: 274,800 (11%)

  • Midstream operations include pipelines, transportation and storage of oil and natural gas.

  • Downstream: 1,165,400 (45%)

  • Downstream operations include the refining of oil, as well as the marketing and distribution of oil-derived products and natural gas.

Minority employment will rise to 1/3 of the total workforce in 2030.

Looking to the Future

There are a projected 1.3 million job opportunities in the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical Industries over the 2010-2030 period. 408,000 of these are opportunities are projected for African American and Hispanic workers, as minority employment will rise from 1/4 of the total workforce in 2010 to 1/3 of the total in 2030

Of the 1.3 million jobs expected through 2030, 63% are projected to be in blue collar occupations. This suggests tremendous opportunity for workers with a high school diploma and some post-secondary training. In addition, 23% of the projected opportunities are expected to be in scientific and managerial positions.