Middle East Oil and Gas industry wages generally rising, according to Salary Guide

Author: Spencer Ogden
Date posted20/Mar/2012
Author: Spencer Ogden

Iraq is leading the way in a general trend towards salary growth in the Middle East according to The Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2012, produced annually by Hays Oil & Gas and leading jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search.

With over 14,000 respondents, the Guide covers 8 countries in the Middle East and 54 countries worldwide. Figures show an increase of 3% year-on-year for salaries in the region, reflecting a mixed year in terms of base remuneration.

In Iraq however the trend was firmly on the up, with average salaries for local labour up an impressive 70% to $US36, 900 per annum, and imported skills enjoying a 38% rise to average US$131,000 per annum.

Other strong rises include Saudi Arabia’s home grown oil and gas professional salaries, which rose to US$102,900 per annum.

Matt Underhill, Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas comments: “Some Middle East countries did not experience significant wage growth but they certainly held their own. Considering some of the social and political instability that the industry has to contend with, this is a positive outcome.”

Contractor rates for the region are generally competitive with manager level professionals expecting an average daily salary of US$540 and director level contractors averaging $820 per day.

Underhill explains: “The Middle East is obviously a diverse region in terms of roles and rewards. There will be oil and gas professionals earning considerably more than the average figures suggest. Those working within in-demand specialisms such as drilling engineers will command much higher salaries.”

The Salary Guide, which gathered information from over 14,000 respondents globally, finds that employer confidence worldwide has also seen a large increase with 26.7% stating they are extremely positive about the current market- up from just 9.7% in 2011. Three quarters of all employers expect staffing levels to increase in the next 12 months.

Duncan Freer, Managing Director of Oil and Gas Job Search, comments: “Iraq is one of the countries to watch for oil and gas salaries. It possesses three of the world’s biggest oil fields, and the rise in wages suggests that there is a returning sense of stability, confidence and growth.

“The region as a whole continues to command more interest from companies looking to invest, with over 20% of respondents listing the Middle East as the region in which their company has the greatest focus over the next 12 months. That has to be good news for the region moving forward in 2012.”