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Amidst a changing market, oil & gas workers in China still earned $US85,851 last year

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Amidst a changing market, the average salary for an oil and gas professional in China was $US85,851, according to the sixth annual Oil & Gas Salary Guide (the Guide), produced by recruiting experts Hays Oil & Gas.

The Guide is based on a survey of more than 45,000 oil and gas professionals across 25 disciplines in 188 countries worldwide. Significantly, 10,000 respondents were employers or hiring managers within the industry.

The survey was completed between September and November 2014, before the oil price started to fall. Therefore, due to the timing of the survey, the fall in oil prices has not been fully reflected in the Guide. The effect of the price drop can be seen today across all regions as projects are delayed, paused or cancelled. Consequently hiring plans will be reviewed.

China findings:

The Guide shows that in China’s oil & gas market at the time of the survey:

·         The overall average salary for an oil & gas worker was $US85,851;

·         75 per cent of the workforce received benefits;

·         The most common benefits were bonuses (awarded to 39 per cent of employees), housing (36 per cent), health plan (34 per cent), meal allowance (33 per cent), home leave allowance (29 per cent) can car, transport or petrol (25 per cent);

·         6 per cent were female (the lowest gender ratio in APAC – compared to 13 per cent in Australia, 16 per cent in Malaysia and 11 per cent in Singapore);

·         53 per cent were local, while 47 per cent were expatriates;

·         96 per cent would consider an international role for their next move, which was higher than the global average of 91 per cent;

·         40 per cent were permanent employees, while 60 per cent were on contracts (33 per cent direct and 27 per cent through an agency);

·         22 per cent said inadequate succession planning for knowledge transfer and skills retention was the main cause of the skills shortage. A further 22 per cent said there is a lack of people with up-to-date skill sets that include the latest technological advancements, and 21 per cent blamed a shortage of new entrants to the industry.

“In China, activity levels have been modestly up in the oil & gas industry, but the coming development of unconventional gas will lead to an increase and redeployment of capital expenditures,” says Simon Lance, Managing Director of Hays in China.

“2014 saw the region’s EPC’s and shipyards being awarded significant contracts due to increased confidence in their ability to deliver quality services, particularly South Korea. A majority of these contracts are FEED or Construction Engineering. Consequently, we’ve seen an increase in demand for skilled Project Engineers and Construction Professionals,” he said.

Other key global findings:

In key global findings, 95 per cent of oil and gas professionals have said that salary is the most important factor when weighing up the decision to take a new role. Ninety-two per cent of job seekers judge company reputation as a crucial element in their decision making process when considering new job opportunities.

To attract top talent, 72 per cent of employers felt they had to make improvements to their employee offering in the last year, including training and development, compensation and rewards.

Skills shortages (for 29.8 per cent of employers in the survey) were expected to be the biggest concern for employers. However economic instability was second (for 24 per cent of employers in the survey), reflecting the changing economics of the industry.

“Since we collated the data the industry has been through unprecedented times,” says John Faraguna, Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas. “Projects with attractive economics are likely to continue, but new projects will come under increased scrutiny and, if no longer economically viable under the new oil price regime, could be postponed or cancelled.

“However, teams managing day to day operations still require the resources necessary to complete projects on time and within budget. At the other end of the spectrum, smaller businesses are responding to recent changes by focussing on interim hiring, shifting from multi-year contracts to short-term specialist assignments.”    

Download a free copy of the Guide at or view online at

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.

Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.