Employment in the Texas oil and natural gas industry is on the upswing amid improving commodity prices and rebounding global energy demand, according to new analysis by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, aka TIPRO.


Unique job postings in the Texas oil and gas sector totaled 7,090 in January, up from 6,764 in December and 6,559 in November, said TIPRO in the latest installment of its Texas Oil and Natural Gas Industry Hiring and Workforce Trends Report.

The report corresponds to the period from November 2020 through January 2021.

Unique job postings in the upstream sector totaled 2,898 in January, up from 2,775 in December and 2,695 in November.

The top five industry sectors by unique job postings during the period comprised petroleum refineries (1,928), crude petroleum extraction (1,605), drilling oil and gas wells (1,201), support activities for oil and gas operations (1,017), and oil and gas field machinery and equipment manufacturing (1,000), researchers said. 

“As the Texas oil and natural gas sector continues to recover from a very difficult year, ensuring access to a qualified workforce will be essential to the future growth of the industry,” said TIPRO Chairman Brent Hopkins. “With the right policies in place, Texas can prepare the workforce of the future to allow the continued success of the oil and gas industry and other key sectors,” added Hopkins.

As prices and activity recover, TIPRO said it will “continue to support legislative and industry-led efforts to examine labor needs within oil and gas to identify workforce gaps.”

The top five cities for employment opportunities during the three-month period were Houston (2,946), Midland (512), Odessa (474), San Antonio (408) and Dallas (293).

The top five qualifications for unique job postings were commercial driver’s license (594), master of business administration (203), tanker endorsement (166), bachelor of science in business (145) and transportation worker identification credential card (136), researchers said.

A bachelor’s degree was required for 3,324 unique positions, while 3,310 positions required a high school or equivalent diploma, 825 required an associate’s degree, 700 required a master’s degree, 193 required a PhD or professional degree, and 2,731 postings listed no formal education requirement.

During 2020, the industry supported 347,529 direct jobs in Texas, a net decline of 73,982 jobs versus 2019, the report found.

The authors noted that Texas accounted for 39% of nationwide oil and gas employment for the full year.

The average annual wage of direct oil and gas jobs in Texas was $129,989 during 2020, 113% higher than the state’s average private sector wages.

Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Current Employment Statistics report, TIPRO highlighted that direct employment in the Texas upstream sector rose by 1,600 jobs in the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2020 versus the third quarter. 

TIPRO also noted that the recent cold snap and resulting energy crisis in Texas “are a painful lesson on the importance of having access to reliable energy for power generation,” adding, “without the massive ramp-up in natural gas generation that occurred the state would have faced far more dire circumstances.”

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker added, “Texas isn’t lacking in energy resources, but we must have the ability to deliver that energy to households and businesses.” He continued, “Texas must ensure that we have adequate reserve power in place, bolster pipeline infrastructure and determine the right level of resilience to safeguard it against extreme weather events.”