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Oil and gas skills shortage means employees can earn £1500 per day

Oil and gas skills shortage means employees can earn £1500 per day

Management consultancy Von Essen has identified a top class of oil and gas contractors earning as much as £1,500 per day.

Oil and gas is a sector suffering from serious skills shortages. Although that causes problems for businesses, it’s also good news for skilled professionals who can command higher pay to fill that void. According to consultancy firm Von Essen, some contractors have exploited this opportunity so successfully that they can now earn as much as £1,500 for a day’s work.

These elite “super-contractors” have built up a huge body of skills and experience from different roles and are highly prized by businesses, the firm says.


Because it can be so difficult to find another professional to fulfil that role – especially at short notice – companies will offer highly attractive rates to make sure they find the right talent.

According to Von Essen, this is particularly true if the work will involve international travel to remote or even dangerous locations.

Dr Steve Priddy, who’s head of research at LSBF and also teaches on the Global MBA (Oil, Gas and Energy Management),  says that two trends have contributed to the serious skills shortage in the sector. “The first of these is the opening up of plays in an increasing number of countries, often in fragile ecological niches, from Angola to the Arctic,” he explains.

“Secondly, the exponential cost reduction, particularly of solar and wind technologies, means that all the major players in the sector are looking at managing more complex portfolios. For example, Statoil recently committed to the development of the latest offshore wind facility off the Norfolk coast. Inevitably, this leads to chronic skill shortages over a range of strategic and operational roles.”


Although oil and gas is one of the leading fields for these super-contractors, other highly skilled and specialist roles such as positions in the IT sector can also command similarly high pay.

Issues such as cybersecurity are priority areas for businesses where investing in a super-contractor may be seen as a worthwhile investment.

Given the traditionally high rates of pay in the finance sector, it is perhaps not surprising that some professionals in this sector are also drawing such high pay offers. According to Ms Lydia Marref, partner at Von Essen, the industry’s culture means it is willing to pay high wages if they believe the contractors are worth it.

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