Salary of an Oil Field Production Foreman

by Rick Suttle
Oil field production foremen earn the highest salaries in California and Alaska.

Oil field production foremen earn the highest salaries in California and Alaska.

Oil field production foremen are responsible for contracting and supervising oil field production workers, ensuring their safety and recording the quantities of oil produced each day. They may also control the quantities of chemicals, salt water and sand used for extracting oil from underwater shale. As an oil field production foreman, you can expect to earn a salary averaging between $40,000 and $50,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

The average annual salary for an oil field production foreman was $46,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To work in this field, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED and five or more years of experience in the oil industry. Many of these supervisors start as roustabouts or derrick operators before getting promoted to foremen. Employers will also expect you to have certification in first aid and hydrogen sulfide gas, a volatile byproduct of drilling. Other key qualifications include physical strength and stamina and supervisory, communication, organizational and computer skills.

Salaries in Top Oil-Producing States

In 2013, average salaries for oil field production foremen varied somewhat among the top oil-producing states. They earned the highest salaries of $52,000 in Alaska and California, according to Simply Hired. Those in Texas made $43,000 per year, while these supervisors earned $40,000 in New Mexico and Wyoming. If you worked as an oil field production foreman in Louisiana or North Dakota, you'd earn slightly less, at $39,000 or $38,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

An oil field production foreman earns the highest salaries in California and Alaska, because living costs are higher in those two states. For example, if you earned $45,000 as an oil field production foreman in Houston, you'd need to make $68,652 in Fairbanks, Alaska, to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's cost of living calculator. In Los Angeles, you'd need to earn $66,547. Oil companies in Alaska may also pay higher salaries for these jobs to compensate foremen for harsher weather conditions and higher living costs.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast jobs for oil field production foremen. It projects an 8-percent increase in jobs for oil and gas workers as a group through 2020, slower than the national average of 14 percent for all jobs. Higher resource prices will force many oil companies to drill offshore in deep waters, which requires more workers. But newer production technologies help these companies produce oil more efficiently, which may be the main reason for the below-average job growth -- even for oil field production foremen.

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