Pay Grade

By Phaedra Friend Troy 

Oil and gas companies rank in top tier for compensation

Fortune magazine recently ranked the 25 top-paying companies in the US, with three oil and gas companies making the list. Is your company on it?

Devon Energy

Coming in at No. 5 for compensation, Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) pays engineers a total average of $172,575 a year, reports Fortune magazine. Based in Oklahoma City, the independent producer was also named as one of America’s best places to work, landing at No. 41 on the list for its recruiting strategies, low turnover rate and compensation practices.

“This tribute recognizes our employees and the positive spirit they bring to their jobs each day. The remarkable corporate culture that has evolved through their work, camaraderie and commitment is at the foundation of our success,” said John Richels, Devon’s president and CEO, of the best places to work honor.

According to Fortune magazine, Devon paid a median bonus in 2009 of $7,200 and offers a generous 401(k) plan. Although the company was forced to layoff about 450 employees this past summer after divesting its offshore operations, Devon spent $675,000 in outplacement services to support those workers.

Focused on unconventional resources in the US and Canada, Devon Energy is active in the Permian Basin and Gulf Coast of Texas, and serves as a pioneer in coalbed natural gas in the Rocky Mountains. 

EOG Resources

At No. 8 for compensation, EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) has only been in operation for a decade, but in that time it has grown into one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in the US with reserves topping 10,776 Bcfe and operations in the US, Canada, Trinidad, the UK and China.

A Houston-based firm, EOG pays engineers an average of $158,008 per year. In addition to covering 100 percent of health care costs for every staff member, the company offers new hires stock options, a contribution-matching retirement plan and three weeks vacation.

Furthermore, EOG Resources has never had a layoff – ever. 

Chesapeake Energy

The second largest natural gas producer in the US, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) ranks as the 24th highest paying company in the US. The Oklahoma City-based company was also honored as No. 32 in the best companies category.

According to the Fortune magazine report, the average total pay for a toolpusher at Chesapeake Energy is $114,084 a year. Additionally, the company culture stresses that all employees are equal and rewards personnel on safety efforts with generous bonuses. To top it off, the report describes the firm’s 401(k) program as “by far one of the most generous.”

“We have long recognized that our employees are our most valuable asset, and we continue to look for innovative ways to enhance their professional and personal experience at our company,” said Aubrey McClendon, CEO. “Chesapeake's unique corporate culture of achievement and innovation, along with cutting-edge benefits, have enabled us to attract and retain what we believe is the best talent in the industry."

Some of the employee benefits Chesapeake offers include a 2.25-acre sustainable employee garden, three on-site restaurants, a cutting-edge fitness center and cash incentives for healthy lifestyles. Additionally, Chesapeake is actively hiring throughout the company with more than 500 open positions. 

Interested in joining the energy industry? Looking to make a career move? Visit to find your next step by perusing hundreds of jobs with the world's leading petroleum and power companies.

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