The Society of Petroleum Engineers
Annual Membership Salary Survey
Western Management Group
237 West Main Street
Los Gatos, California 95030-6818
SPE SALARY SURVEY SETS ANOTHER PARTICIPATION RECORD
2009 marked the third straight year that more SPE members than ever before participated in the annual SalarySurvey, as
respondents neared the 13,500 mark. This is particularly notable given that as recently as 2006, survey participation was at less
than 3,000 worldwide. It’s very good news for those interested in making use of this information, because the more extensive
the database, the more it allows for comprehensive, statistically significant analyses of the broadest possible spectrum of
geographies,jobs, and demographic categories.
Among the 2009 participants, over 7,000 reported as working in a country outside the United States, as the survey continues to
become more global in scope. A grand total of 97 countries were represented in this year’s survey, with SPE members reporting
receiving pay in 63 different currencies. Record-high participation rates were presented by the regions ofAfrica, Australia/New
Zealand, North Sea/North Atlantic, Northern & Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Also, more women than ever before were
represented in this year’s survey, totaling over 10% of the 2009 respondents.
For the third year in a row, the survey was conducted on SPE’s behalf by Western Management Group (WMG). The survey took
place over a five-week period from the beginning of Julythrough early August of 2009, with all professional SPE members
invited to participate via email. The data was collected in local currency via a username-and-password-credentialed online
questionnaire, and the database was thoroughly edited, with incomplete and/or clearly erroneous records deleted. This
information is held in the strictest confidentiality, to be released in aggregated form only.2
All compensation data presented in this Highlight Report is expressed in US dollars. Data collected in local currencies has been
converted to US dollars using the exchange rate as of July 1, 2009, which is the data effective date.
The worldwide economic difficulties of 2009 are vividly represented in this year’s survey results. Figure 1 and Figure 2 present
Base Payand Other Compensation data reported by SPE members working in the ten major regions around the globe, and in
every region, by most metrics we see slight declines compared to the pay totals reported in 2008.
Overall, the worldwide median Base Pay in 2009 was $124,604, a decrease of about 2% from last year. Median Total
Compensation was also down, from $158,103 in 2008 to an even $150,000. Evenmore dramatic was the reduction in the
reported average annual increase in Base Pay to 6.6%, from a mark of 8.1% in the previous year. Only one region, Africa,
reported a higher average increase in 2009 than in 2008.
But though the slowdown in compensation levels was significant, the general pattern was essentially unchanged. The three
work regions with the highest average pay in 2008 had beenthe United States, Australia & New Zealand, and North Sea & North
Atlantic, and they remained so in 2009. And, as in 2008, the lowest this year was still Southeast Asia, though now Northern &
Central Asia was not far above it.
There was little change overall in the proportion of members reporting receiving a car allowance. As in the past, this figure
varied widely from region to region, witha high of 64.8% in Africa, to a low of 20.7% in Canada.
But as in the past, there was great consistency across regions in the average age of respondents. The worldwide average was
42, with no region’s average older than 44 or younger than 38. With regard to the average years of industry experience, an
interesting pattern emerged with the United States reporting a figure of 20 years, and no...
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