Hays, specialist recruitment company, survey shows demand for qualified engineers in the oil and gas sector remains resilient despite the downturn and this is reflected by the competitive salary and benefits packages on offer in the industry.
The 2009 survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Energy Institute, analysed trends in the oil and gas jobs (http://www.hays.com/Oil-and-Gas/ ) sector, showed pensions were top the list of desirable benefits for almost 80% of workers, followed by annual leave entitlement (71%), health insurance (66%), and bonuses (58%).
"Nine day fortnights are also fairly typical of the oil and gas sector, enabling workers to take a supplementary day off every other week. We are also seeing car allowances at all levels, including for more junior roles," commented Eliot Davies, National Operations Director for Hays Oil & Gas.
Many companies also sponsor career development, offering to pay for further training - this is borne out by the number of workers who hold a postgraduate qualification (43%). The survey also revealed that over half of oil and gas workers saw their incomes boosted by bonuses (58%), which can climb as high as 20% of base salary. Indeed, almost half of oil and gas professionals (45%) are expecting to receive a bonus this year. The opportunity to work on projects globally is also attracting jobseekers to the oil and gas industry, demonstrated by the survey findings, which reveal that two thirds of respondents deemed this to be either important or very important.
"Although Aberdeen is still seen as a centre for engineering excellence, many head offices located in the city will offer opportunities for secondment abroad," stated Eliot.
The commercial experience of principal and contracts engineers is also highly sought after, along with C&I, structural and mechanical engineers (http://www.hays.com/oil-and-gas/mechanical-engineer/ ). While some employers require specialist oil and gas experience, others are considering taking on construction sector professionals such as quantity surveyors (http://www.hays.com/construction/QuantitySurveying/ ) where skills can be easily transferred across industries.
"We are experiencing particularly strong demand for intermediate and senior level reservoir engineers, geoscientists, geophysicists and people with FEED experience," Eliot commented.
Salary bands for oil and gas engineers in the sector vary from £28-36k at the junior level (for individuals with one to three years' experience), £35-50k at the intermediate level (three to six years' experience), £48-70k at the senior level (seven to 10 years' experience) and £60-120k at the management level (10 years' plus experience).