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If you think there are no decent paying jobs out there that don’t require a college degree, think again. The oil and gas industry offers a smorgasbord of good paying employment choices that don’t require going into debt up to your eyeballs at a four-year university. Here are just a few of the industry’s employment offerings that don’t require a college degree.

Oil Field Gate Guards: Little training and no special certifications necessary.

This may be the best of the best when it comes to pay scale vs. educational requirements. Oil and gas servicing companies are always looking for gate guards to monitor the entrance into well pads. This is a 24/7 job, so employers typically look for a husband and wife team to live in a mobile trailer provided by the company or the guard parks his own RV at the gate’s entrance.

Gate guards are typically compensated between $150 to $300 per day, contract work. There are no benefits and a 1099 is provided at year’s end for tax purposes. This site provides specific information for prospective gate guards.

Duties include monitoring the gate entrance, keeping out unauthorized vehicles, and logging the coming and going of workers and service vehicles. Sometimes a company will ask gate guard candidates to take an online quiz, which gate guard veterans say requires only common sense answers.

If you’re interested in pursuing this career, check out this Facebook page, which lists new job postings and where gatekeepers share advice among themselves.

Cathy Emery and her husband moved from Hawaii to tour the Mainland while working two to three months at a time guarding gates, then taking off a month or two for travel. “This funds our travels without touching capital,” said Emery.

Lease Operator/ Pumper: High school diploma, experience preferred but not mandatory and a clean driving record.

This job usually requires monitoring production equipment in the oil patch and performing some routine maintenance, like painting, changing broken belt pumps and removing ice from pumping equipment during winter months. Job candidates must hold a high school diploma and preferably have some experience in the oil field and some computer skills. The pay scale varies with responsibilities and experience, but typically runs between $26,000 to $35,000 annual salary.

Oil Field Hand-Roustabout: High school diploma, a clean driving record, and preferably some oil field experience.

An oil field roustabout is an unskilled laborer who works on jobs that would otherwise have to be done by more skilled workers. Roustabouts clean up work sites and equipment, help with digging trenches, and provide visual guidance and inspection of jobs and pipelines. The job may be temporary and require long days of manual labor, but it can also be an entry into better-paying, more permanent work on a rig.

Workers earn an average of $35,500 a year.

Roustabout employment is expected to show overall growth through 2020, according to employment experts.

Coil Tubing Operator: Commercial driver’s license required and must pass a drug screen.

A coil tubing operator’s duties include driving and operating a coiled tubing unit support equipment and performing routine maintenance on equipment. They are responsible for the operation, maintenance, testing and inspection of natural gas pipelines and associated facilities and equipment.

You would perform pipeline maintenance activities, such as pipeline patrols; leak repairs and surveys; lubricating valves; installing cathodic protection systems and anodes; blows drips and clear right-of-way; and monitors heaters. You would operate a company truck and work independently on a daily basis.

This job typically pays $44,000 per year with benefits.

Gas Control Dispatcher: Candidates must possess a high school diploma and preferably some hands-on O&G experience.

A gas control dispatcher is responsible for maintaining proper gas pipeline system pressures, receiving trouble calls, maintaining records and files. It often includes rotating shift hours. Salary is about $44,000+ per year.

 There are some awesome websites for researching oil and natural gas employment opportunities, OilandGasJobSearch.com is one. There’s also Riggertalk.com and Indeed.

About The Author Chaye Stephen

My dad was a news reporter and later published Coal & Energy News, a magazine covering the Ohio Valley Coal industry. That's where I first honed my writing skills. I studied journalism in college but soon found that writing doesn’t always pay well. So through the years, I've functioned in many other capacities, including business owner and entrepreneur. Most recently, I've worked in the oil & gas industry leasing and buying minerals. I have two sons, and we live in the heart of the Utica Shale play in East Ohio. We live on 85 rural acres surrounded by the beauty of nature and lots of critters. Even here, the need to write still flows through my veins.