Oklahoma is helping ensure a bright future for its residents through a web-based tool known as Oklahoma Works. The program lists the top 100 jobs most critical to future economic stability and prosperity. Rankings are based on projected demand, wealth generation and education.

Occupations listed are vital to the success of industry sectors identified as giving Oklahoma a competitive advantage in a global economy. The online list provides median hourly earnings, predicted increase in demand, educational requirements, experience levels and more.

A quick glance reveals a wide range of high-paying Oklahoma jobs near the top are being provided by the state’s No. 1 industry – oil and natural gas. A projected 3,560 petroleum engineering jobs, which rank as the second highest paid behind physicians and surgeons, will need to be filled in Oklahoma by 2025.

Jobs that require a four-year degree are not the only ones making the list. Geological and Petroleum Technicians are also among the top paying jobs in high demand. The OERB offers specialized training through its PetroTech Certification program for individuals interested in landing one of those jobs.

Oil and natural gas is the state’s No. 1 industry:
Total employment of 398,798 Oklahomans.
One out of every six Oklahoma jobs.
A $39.5 billion dollar value-added impact to the state economy.

Oklahoma Works’ strategic priorities are coordinated by the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development. The listings serve as a good tool for planning a career path based on the best jobs available. And as the numbers plainly show, an investment in an oil and natural gas career is promising for the future of qualified Oklahoma applicants.

Here are just some of the oil and natural gas occupations listed on the state’s top 100 jobs most critical to Oklahoma’s future. For more details, visit oklahomaworks.gov/oklahoma-workforce-data/critical-occupations/

  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Geoscientist
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Petroleum Pump System Operator
  • Geological / Petroleum Technician
  • Rotary Drill Operator
  • Derrick Operator
  • Service Unit Operator


EnergyHQ is powered by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board – OERB – which is voluntarily funded by the state's oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners. The OERB provides free environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and works to educate the state's citizens about the oil and natural gas industry. For more on the OERB's mission and how it is funded, visit OERB.com.