Oil and Gas

GETI 2023: Surging fossil fuel prices make oil and gas sector top choice for energy workers

  • Amidst surging fossil fuel prices and profits, oil and gas has become the sector of choice for energy workers.
  • Oil and gas salaries have surged above pre-pandemic levels with 66 per cent of respondents expecting a further pay rise next year.
  • Almost a third of oil and gas workers have been headhunted over six times in the last year amidst accelerating competition for talent.

LONDON, UK, 14th February 2023, The seventh annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s most established and comprehensive energy workforce trends report, released today, has revealed that the recent gas price crisis has transformed oil and gas into the most popular sector for energy workers looking to change roles and has sent salaries soaring above pre-pandemic levels.

The report by Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider to the STEM industries, finds that, with oil and gas majors posting record profits, 44 per cent of oil and gas workers saw their pay increase last year and two-thirds expect further salary rises next year. Optimistically, 41 per cent expect bumper pay rises of over five per cent next year.

Sector-wide salaries are being inflated by fierce competition for oil and gas talent, with almost one-in-three oil and gas workers having been headhunted over six times in the past year. Big pay packets are also driving high job satisfaction, with remuneration cited as the biggest driver of said satisfaction and 69 per cent of oil and gas workers declaring themselves satisfied in their current positions.

Yet rising salaries and job opportunities are also empowering oil and gas workers to seek jobs based on values as well as salaries, with ESG concerns now among their top three reasons for choosing employers. Renewables is the first choice of outside energy sector for oil and gas workers to join, perhaps due to its pivotal role in the environment. With just 11 per cent of the oil and gas workforce in our survey composed of women, and female employees also more likely to say their views are ignored at work, improving diversity could also be key to retaining and attracting an ESG-conscious workforce.

Janette Marx, CEO at Airswift, says: “In the wake of the recent sanctions on Russia, soaring fossil fuel profits have made oil and gas the most attractive energy sector and turned this into an employees’ market. In countries such as the US, new laws mandating pay transparency have forced companies to openly compete on salaries and benefits. An increasingly high-paid, in-demand oil and gas workforce is now empowered to choose employers based on their environmental and social performance as well as pay. This is an opportunity for employers to compete for talent on other differentiators beyond salaries, from decarbonisation to diversity.

Ilda Andaluz, Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources at oil equipment supplier Varel Energy Solutions, adds: “The COVID-era ‘Great Resignation’ combined with the recent resurgence of fossil fuel production and prices has opened major skills gaps across oil and gas and it now takes up to three times longer to fill every position. Yet growing digitalisation has created increasing skills synergies with industries such as technology that could help us grow the workforce and reduce labour costs; we have recently recruited from the likes of Amazon.”

Further key findings within oil and gas include:

  • The revival of oil and gas projects from France to the UK makes Europe the leading destination for oil and gas workers seeking overseas transfers (27 per cent).
  • The proportion of workers wanting to relocate has fallen from 91 per cent in 2020 to 81 per cent today.
  • Of those companies that have begun transitioning to clean energy, 38 per cent welcome the change this has made to their roles.

Airswift interviewed sector experts and surveyed 10,000 energy professionals and hiring managers of 149 nationalities across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. The report is available to download at

Download your report now

Find out what 10,000 hiring managers and professionals think about salaries, hiring rates and more by downloading the GETI report today!

Download Report