Oil rig mechanics repair and maintain pumping equipment used to extract oil and natural gas from the earth. These workers face extremely dangerous conditions, and often live in remote areas on or around the rig for months at a time. Salaries for oil rig mechanics vary widely based on skill, experience and training. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these workers earn an average annual salary of $60,830 as of May 2010.
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Oil Rig Mechanic Salaries
Industrial machinery mechanics in the oil and gas extraction field earn an average of $29.25 per hour ($60,830 per year) as of May 2010, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Mechanics who work in natural gas extraction settings earn a mean salary of $28.49 per hour, or $59,270 per year.
According to the State of Michigan Occupational Handbook, electro-mechanical technicians on oil rigs earn a median salary of $62,570 per year as of 2005.
Salaries by Job Title
Various oil companies may use different titles to describe the job of oil rig mechanic. According to the BLS, oil rig roustabouts earn a mean salary of $37,160 per year as of May 2010, with a median wage of $33,570. Roustabouts represent the lowest-skilled workers on the oil rig, and these workers perform general maintenance and basic tasks. Petroleum system operators earn an average of $59,980 annually, with a median wage of $59,770 per year. These professionals handle more advanced tasks than roustabouts, including skilled mechanical repairs and maintenance. Petroleum engineers earn an average of $123,410 per year, with a median salary of $138,130. These professionals represent the highest-skilled mechanics on an oil rig.
Mechanical engineers generally have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, and many also have a graduate level degree. These professionals design, install and repair mechanical systems and pumping equipment on oil rigs. As of May 2010, mechanical engineers who work in the oil and gas extraction industry earn an average of $101,930 per year according to the BLS.
All Oil Rig Workers
All oil and gas extraction workers, including mechanics and other technicians, earn an average wage of $35.22 per hour as of June 2011, with an average work week of 43.8 hours, according to the BLS. Oil rig workers in non-supervisory positions earn an average of $27.13 per hour, with an average work week of 42.5 hours.