Oil/Gas Extraction Jobs Rank Among Fastest-Growing in US

May 11, 2011 by Emsi Burning Glass

With the preview release of EMSI’s 2nd Quarter 2011 dataset this week, we compiled a list of the fastest-growing occupations from 2009-2011. The jobs at the top of the list might surprise you — particularly if you weren’t aware of the explosion in oil and gas extraction jobs.

The following table shows the top 10 fastest-growing jobs in the nation (ranked by 2009-2011 percentage growth).

SOC CodeDescription2009 Jobs2011 Jobs% ChangeAnnual Openings2011 Median Hourly WageEducation Level47-5013Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining41,22846,76613%4,313$20.46Moderate-term on-the-job training47-5011Derrick operators, oil and gas23,08025,74712%2,267$22.22Moderate-term on-the-job training17-2031Biomedical engineers15,34817,06111%1,237$36.89Bachelor's degree47-5012Rotary drill operators, oil and gas28,03530,98111%2,656$26.40Moderate-term on-the-job training47-5071Roustabouts, oil and gas74,99682,67810%6,484$19.06Moderate-term on-the-job training31-1011Home health aides1,066,2501,143,9837%53,867$9.81Short-term on-the-job training17-2171Petroleum engineers28,95230,9177%1,936$49.98Bachelor's degree39-9021Personal and home care aides1,020,6301,088,0297%50,874$8.80Short-term on-the-job training13-1071Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists205,859218,3296%12,654$21.64Bachelor's degree43-5052Postal service mail carriers329,547348,7236%21,161$25.10Short-term on-the-job training

Where are these well-performing oil and gas jobs located? With our GIS tool, we mapped the data for four of the five fastest-growing jobs — roustabouts, service unit operators, derrick operators, and rotary drill operators. Here’s what we found: Texas and Oklahoma of course have a large percentage of these jobs, but California, Alaska, and other Western states have a fair share, too.

The map below shows every county in the continental US sorted by 2-year job growth in these oil and gas extraction jobs. (Williams County, North Dakota is No. 1 with 1,539 jobs added, which amounts to 80% growth).

Drilling down, this first chart shows the counties in the US with largest number of the four aforementioned occupations.

Harris County, home to Houston and 4.1 million people, has by far the largest number of oil and gas workers, followed by five other Texas counties in the top 15.

What about the counties showing the strongest growth from 2009-2011? We charted the top 15, by percentage change, below.

This is where things get interesting. Drilling has skyrocketed in North Dakota, a big reason why the state has five of the top six fastest-growing counties for the selected oil and gas extraction occupations. And Pennsylvania, which has four of the top 15 quickest-growing counties, has seen a huge increase in Marcellus shale natural gas extraction.

Interested in looking at this or other data for your region? Contact us.