For many people, the decision to leave traditional employment and work for themselves is motivated, at least in part, by the preferential rates of pay on offer. Of course, these are subject to fluctuation as demand for particular roles changes, but in general the oil and gas industry is one where industry specific skills are always sought-after.

The daily rates for contractors in the oil and gas industry can vary greatly depending on your specific qualifications, skills and experience, as well as practical factors such as your availability, willingness to travel and your own negotiation skills. At the lower end, there are roles, which routinely command daily rates of £300, and some of the best paying positions offer around £2,000 per day.

What can affect your rates?

Those who are just starting their careers in oil and gas engineering will be unlikely to command rates as high as those who have been working in the field for a number of years, but as you gain experience and confidence, you might find that you are better placed to command higher rates.

Although there is a constant high demand for contractors in oil and gas, there are factors that can affect this significantly, including political manoeuvres, which can change the way companies think about hiring. In times of uncertainty, there can be hiring freezes or booms, so it is always worth paying attention to the news in order to ascertain whether it is a good time to be looking for work, or if you might be better off waiting for political or financial decisions to be made before job-hunting.

Rates for jobs in the sector

There are so many different job roles in the oil and gas industry, with each attracting varying daily rates and requiring different skills, qualifications and levels of experience.

For example, a maintenance technician who deals with repairs and maintenance work on control and safety systems would be expected to be Qualified to HND / HNC in an electrical or instrument discipline, relevant experience in the oil and gas sector and an understanding of the digital software and PLC interfaces used.

Rates for jobs such as this average around £240 per day, whereas jobs that require higher levels of expertise such as management experience can command higher rates. This includes commissioning engineers who are required to manage teams of engineers, manage face-to-face interactions with clients and an understanding of commissioning procedures. Someone with those skills can earn rates of up to £600 a day for some clients.

Other roles within the industry can command varied rates. Here are some examples of specific roles, the specifications for applicants and what is actually involved:

Technical Sales Support Manager : £600 - £650 per day

Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical knowledge and experience support to the sales teams as required
  • Attend client meetings
  • Support the sales team towards achieving order bookings and agreed targets
  • Develop working relationships with key individuals within the customer's organizations
  • Cement technical business relationships at appropriate levels with target customers
  • Communicate customer technical requirements into the Engineering Team,
  • Monitor global intervention market conditions and customer specific strategic and operational factors to ensure that current, reliable market intelligence is acquired

Qualifications and experience required:

  • 5 years in a project management or engineering role
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiating skills
  • Outstanding commercial awareness and good all round business acumen
  • Ability to influence and win the confidence of both customers and colleagues
  • Ability to develop advantageous customer relationships and generate new business
  • Capable of delivering equally well in isolation or as a team member
  • Prepared to travel globally within the regions in the interests of Company business

Financial Controller : £500 per day

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain accurate financial information for two companies
  • Ensure that the financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible
  • Ensure accounting policies comply with relevant standards and group policies
  • Produce, and monitor the detailed cash flow plans and budgets
  • Be instrumental in meeting agreed goals and objectives and contribute to the reporting of performance
  • Financial record keeping review and reporting
  • Capital and revenue budget preparation and control
  • Treasury and foreign exchange management
  • Preparation of bi-monthly management accounts and board reports
  • Preparation of Interim and annual Financial statements and other reports
  • Liaison with auditors and tax advisers, and oversee all tax and regulatory compliance

Qualifications:

  • At least 5 years experience in the Oil & Gas exploration industry
  • Extensive post qualified experience

Experience working in an all-encompassing senior position within an SME business is essential

  • Knowledge of SUN systems
  • Excellent management skills

For help finding a contract in the oil and gas sector, there are a number of specialist recruiters such as:

For more information about making the move to contracting, please get in touch with a member of our new business team on 01253 362062 or email jacqui.fairbrother@nixonwilliams.com.