Average wage and salary earnings in the oil and gas extraction industry were significantly higher than the average for all industries. The average hourly earnings of non-supervisory workers in the oil and gas extraction industry were $19.27, compared with $14.95 for all workers in private industry. Due to the working conditions, employees at offshore operations generally earn higher wages than do workers at onshore oil fields. College-educated workers and technical school graduates in professional and technical occupations usually earn the most.
Few industry workers belong to unions. In fact, only about 2 percent of workers were union members or were covered by union contracts in 2002, compared with about 15 percent of all workers throughout private industry.