10+ Best Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution industry has many professionals and provides many job opportunities. Many people want to work in this field because of the good career paths and the top-paying jobs it offers.

Key points

  • The natural gas distribution industry offers some of the best-paying jobs.
  • You don’t need an engineering degree to work in the industry.
  • There are several oil and gas career paths you can take to work in the top-paying jobs in the industry.

Are you interested in the best-paying jobs in natural gas distribution? This post breaks down for you the career opportunities that exist in natural gas, the salaries, and the best-paying jobs. Keep reading to discover more.

Best Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution

What career opportunities exist related to natural gas?

The natural gas industry offers a wide range of career opportunities. Working in this industry is a beneficial career choice because of the practical experience you gain and the high salaries. There are over 3.4 million jobs associated with the industry that you can use to fuel your career.

Begin your career with apprenticeships

Employers in the energy sector use apprenticeship as a proven way to recruit, train and retain top-drawer talents. An apprenticeship is an earn-as-you-learn approach that enables you to develop the skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals that have mastered their craft. 

As a result, apprenticeships offer an excellent industry entry point for people who learn best through hands-on experiences and active participation. Some of the apprenticeships opportunities available in the industry include:

Gas Apprentice

Gas Apprentices participate in gas service duties like

  • responding to gas emergencies such as fire calls, carbon monoxide, and leaks
  • installing residential and commercial gas meters
  • performing pipe work at client locations
  • working on gas appliances.  

Furthermore, Gas Apprenticeships are the ideal transition point for people with experience in HVAC, pipefitting, welding, and operating excavation equipment.

Above Ground Technician

This is another General Apprenticeship entry-level position that involves performing duties to support field operations, such as

  • service deactivation
  • delayed match
  • inspecting corrosions
  • meter paints
  • reading meters and
  • maintenance activities.

This role also involves serving as a member of a crew engaged in the installation, maintenance, and repair of service lines and gas mains. It is an ideal “foot in the door” role if you enjoy working outdoors and being part of a team.

Below Ground Technician

This General Apprenticeship role involves one being a member of a team that installs, maintains, and repairs service lines and gas mains. Those in this role perform basic tasks such as

  • operating heavy equipment
  • investigating basic leaks
  • using hand tools
  • mechanical joining
  • traffic control and
  • maintaining landscape

This is a construction-type role that requires painstaking physical activities. It is essential to have a strong focus on compliance and focus on excelling in this role. It is an excellent opportunity for one to advance into leadership roles.  

Skilled Trades

These positions require specialized expertise, knowledge, and skills from hands-on training, college coursework, or technical school. Skilled Trades are professionals with an indisputable master of a craft critical for their trade. Millions of skilled trade and craft workers support the energy industry.


Pipefitters are critical in constructing, maintaining, replacing, and repairing natural gas distribution infrastructure. They are skilled trade professionals that are high in demand and usually find themselves moving around in different job sites where their employers operate. Their responsibilities include

  • installation, maintenance, repairing, and replacement of natural gas polythene piping
  • pipe fitting and connecting polyethene pipes
  • joining pipes with socket fusion or butt, mechanical coupling, and electrofusion
  • inspection and testing of piping systems for leaks

This is your ideal position if you have a gift for fixing things and an understanding of technical operations.

Gas Operator

Gas operators use their knowledge and expertise to ensure all compliance and safety measures are achieved. Their responsibilities include:

  • operating machines used to trench for natural gas pipelines
  • digging underground utilities safely
  • installing natural gas pipelines in the ditch
  • providing for sufficient backfill

Gas Crew Leader

Every great team needs a leader, and strong leadership is a trademark of gas crew leaders. These individuals have construction skills, maintaining and repairing natural gas distribution infrastructure. They have experience in natural gas services and mainline installations.

Their main role is ensuring the gas crew conducts the projects securely, timely, and efficiently through effective project management. Gas Crew Leader is a natural career progression path for top-performing gas technicians.

Engineering/Technical Operation

These positions require the most technical thinkers that thrive on the how and why of how things work. Furthermore, they delight in creative problem-solving.  


Engineers of different specialities are needed in the gas industry. They are important in leading capital-intensive projects and overseeing multiple activities such as upgrades, new plant installations, and process equipment. Engineers are forward-thinking professionals with the following responsibilities:

  • Developing studies, specifications, evaluations, and calculations
  • Designing documents, integrated systems analysis, performance assessments, estimating costs, and planning budgets.  

Some engineering positions in the industry include:

  • Natural Gas Engineer: they develop, install and maintain equipment used to process gas and oil. Their main responsibility is to ensure safety, reliability, quality, and sustainability. A bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering is sufficient to get you started in this career.
  • Project Engineer: the Project Engineers must ensure the design, construction, and maintenance activities are done safely and within budget. To be a project engineer, you need a mechanical, chemical, or civil engineering qualification plus sufficient hands-on experience.
  • Production Engineer: A Production Engineer needs a Petroleum Engineering Degree. They are responsible for monitoring the well’s efficiency and ensuring it is commercially feasible. Previous career experience can help you climb to this position if you don’t have a degree.
  • Drilling Engineer: The role of a Drilling Engineer is to manage rig staff and assess and maintain wells. Moreover, they ensure everyone adheres to safety measures. The Drilling Engineer also manages the financial and technical operations of the drilling project. You must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this position.

Natural Gas Scheduler

The Natural Gas Scheduler works closely with traders ensuring receipt and delivery of natural gas from suppliers to customers. To thrive in this position, you need strong attention to detail, critical thinking skills, and be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment.    

Gas Technical Trainer

Trainers play a critical role in this industry because it requires continual training on safety, professional development, and career progression. The role of the technical trainers is to design, develop and oversee training related to gas operations, equipment, and emergency procedures. 

They achieve this by creating hands-on simulations and educational videos. Furthermore, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have become prevalent in training scenarios.   

Managerial Positions

Project Manager

A project manager’s responsibility is to ensure the entire project remains on track, within budget and specifications. They also ensure the projects adhere to set safety guidelines throughout. You need a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and a Project Management Certification or at least 10 years of experience in managing projects in the industry.

Drilling Supervisor

The Drilling Supervisor is responsible for the entire drilling operation and ensures the project is done in time. They also oversee other onsite operations ensuring they are done safely and efficiently. You need several years of experience to work in this position.

Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) Manager

The HSE Manager’s role is critical. They monitor the natural gas operations’ safety and occupational and environmental performance at all production sites. 

Furthermore, they create safety management policies, coordinate training programs, and investigate workplace incidents. You need a high school diploma or Bachelor’s degree to work in this position.

Which field is best for the oil and gas industry?

The global economy still relies heavily on oil and gas as primary fuel sources. Consequently, employers keep searching for skilled workers to ensure the industry remains viable for many years. Exploration remains the most sought-after area of expertise in the industry. The other notable fields include:

  • Legal
  • Engineering
  • Administration
  • Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Oceanography
  • Chemistry
  • Geology

The industry is vast, opening it up to a wide range of opportunities for people with the right skill set. So, what degrees do you need to enter the oil and gas industry? Here are the top 5:

  1. Petroleum Engineering: Petroleum Engineers are tasked with finding efficient ways of extracting oil or gas from a reservoir. This career path starts with you specializing in any of the following sub-disciplines:
    1. Drilling engineering
    2. Production engineering
    3. Reservoir engineering
    4. Petrophysical engineering
    5. Surface Facilities Engineering
  2. Mechanical Engineering: These engineers design drilling equipment and machinery used by drilling engineers and other technicians. Some items they design are shutoff valves, turbine engines, specialized towing equipment, and tools specific to the industry. Specialities you can explore are:
    1. Operation and maintenance engineer
    2. Equipment engineer
    3. Quality control engineer
    4. Design Engineer
  3. Electrical Engineering: Most electrical engineers start as oil rig technicians who help in repair and design implementation. With around five years of experience under your belt, you can progress to becoming the chief electrical engineer.
  4. Chemical Engineering: These engineers ensure that petroleum products are pure and safe. They play key roles during the manufacturing process. Career options available for chemical engineers include
    1. Safety engineer
    2. Lab chemist
    3. Estimate specialist
    4. Lab Assistant
    5. Drilling engineer
  5. Environmental Health Engineering: Environmental engineers make sure oil companies don’t harm the environment and remain profitable. Professionals can focus on the following areas:
    1. Public safety
    2. Pollution control
    3. Proper waste disposal
    4. Recycling
    5. Environmental impact studies

Other degrees you can pursue to get an opportunity in the oil industry include:

  • Law
  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Petroleum geologist
  • Surveying
  • Technical writing  

What is the best job on an oil rig?

There are different job opportunities in an oil rig. However, the Safety Engineer is arguably the job everyone on an oil rig would want:

  1. This role is among the best paying in the oil rig, with a safety engineer taking home an average salary of $95,000 annually.
  2. You need several years of experience to work in this role.
  3. You interact with nearly everyone in the workplace as you train them on safety.  

Do oil jobs pay well?

Job opportunities in the oil industry are on the decline. However, those who work in oil and gas still enjoy strong compensation. The industry offers relatively high median wages compared to other industries. 

For example, a normal worker in the industry earns $80,710 annually, which is double the overall median wage for a nonfarm worker in the U.S., which is about $41,950 annually

Consequently, the oil and gas industry ranks as the third top-paying industry in the U.S. behind the Securities & finance and Publishing industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Entry-level jobs that pay well

Here are some of the most advertised entry-level oil and gas jobs that pay well:

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary (in $)
Floorhand Drilling Rig Jobs53,000
Entry Level Oil Field Operator36,000
Oil Refinery Operator41,000
Terminal Operator Entry52,000
Oil Field Operator Assistant Trainee44,000
Energy and Utilities Engineer – Entry Level70,200
Entry Level Measurement Engineer or Analyst64,600

What is the highest-paying oilfield job?

There are different lucrative jobs in the oil industry, all of which pay relatively well. However, Drilling Consultants are the highest paid globally. A Drilling Consultant is someone who has expertise in all aspects of drilling. 

They hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or higher and have some experience in the industry. As a drilling consultant, you will earn an average of $230,000 annual salary!

Which oil company pays the best?

According to reports by rigzone.com, Shell remains the most preferred employer in the oil and gas industry. Shell is a global group of companies dealing in energy and petrochemicals. 

They use advanced technologies and innovative strategies in their operations. The company’s headquarters are in The Hague, the Netherlands, has a workforce of about 92,000 employees, and has a presence in more than 70 countries.

The company is believed to offer its employees better pay than its competitors. For instance, an Operator earns an average of $80,061 annually while an IT Analyst earns $129,088 annually.

Final Thoughts

The oil and gas industry remains one of the best-paying industries globally. Moreover, it has a wide range of opportunities that people that have studied other disciplines such as Law, IT, and Customer Relations can still get a chance. 

But, if you want to work in the core jobs, please ensure you have a clear picture of the career path you need to take. Finally, you will have to be patient as rising to the top of the job chain requires time and continual learning.  

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