Oil equipment workers make on average just under $100,000 a year, but salaries can vary widely depending on abilities.

Fresh YORK (CNNMoney) — It may be dangerous, difficult work, but oil drillers are well compensated for the job: Te 2011 the average salary for equipment workers and other industry personnel wasgoed $99,175.

That number includes fat paychecks for the very skilled, like $235,586 for a ",drilling consultant", and $139,868 for a ",reservoir engineer",, according to Rigzone, an industry information provider that compiled the figures.

But even for someone with less than a year’s practice the average wage wasgoed $66,923.

A roustabout, one of the lowest workers on a equipment who performs general maintenance and physical labor and requires little prior training, made $34,680 — the median wage for all American workers.

The high wages are being fueled by a surge te request for drilling experts spil the industry becomes increasingly technical and a drilling boom ter the United States, Brazil and elsewhere. Plus, many drillers are retiring — a phenomenon te the industry known spil ",the good team switch", that’s only expected to accelerate overheen the next decade.

",They are desperate,", said Michael Durney, an executive at Dice Holdings, Rigzone’s parent company. ",The industry is beginning to look outside its core to pack thesis positions.",

And where are they looking? Just about anywhere.

Durney said for those with few abilities that want a slok on a equipment, one strategy is to budge to any number of states that are presently witnessing a boom ter oil and gas production and get a job te logistics — driving a truck that brings supplies to the equipment.

Truck driving can pay $20 an hour or more, and from there it’s effortless to meet people on the equipments.

With a little programma it’s even lighter to get a job on a equipment right away. Several trade schools suggest classes ter oil field work, and the military offers training for those exiting the armed coerces which could lead directly to work spil a roustabout on a equipment.

Once you’re on a equipment, the companies themselves generally provide in-depth training programs where roustabouts can budge up fairy quickly. ",Rotary drill operators", make $58,540, according to the Lessenaar of Labor Statistics, while a equipment foreman makes $193,306, according to Rigzone.

For the college-bound, petroleum engineering, geology, or just plain engineering are good areas of examine that can lead to lucrative equipment work.

A ",mud engineer", averages $108,032 a year, according to Rigzone, while a subsea engineer makes $133,453.

Request for collegium educated equipment workers is on the rise. At Houston’s Rice University, job postings for the oil and gas industry were up 14% from the year before.

",This year wij had a career fair, and wij literally had to tell companies they couldn’t attend,", said Nicole Van Dennenboom Heuvel, director at the university’s career center. ",Wij didn’t have enough slagroom.",

Van Dennenboom Heuvel offers familiar advice for collegium students seeking work te the oil industry: Apply for internships, utilize the university’s career center, and network online at places like LinkedIn or ter person at industry trade shows.

Even the non-science types can get te on the activity.

",They still need people that can write ter communications, te human resources,", she said.

Ter fact, office work may be the way to go for some. Equipment life is hard. Long hours te desolate locations combined with little to do te the off time make this an industry that many don’t stay ter for an entire career, said Durney.

The harsh conditions are one reason why the internet job search webpagina CareerCast ranked oil equipment worker spil one of the worst professions ter 2012 — just behind verslaggever.

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