How to become an oil and gas contractor

The oil and gas industry is one that is rich with opportunities for contractors. As things currently stand, the industry cannot keep up with the ever-increasing worldwide demand.

If you have experience in the industry and find the life of self-employment appealing, now is the perfect time to consider becoming an oil and gas contractor. It is a career that can take you all over the world because you’ll need to go where the resources are, so one week you could be working in the North Sea with nothing but beautiful blue waters for miles and the next you could have the sun beating down on your back in Qatar.

Reasons to become an oil and gas contractor

Contracting in general presents many advantages over the life of a permanent employee, and working as an oil and gas contractor is no different, including:

  • Potentially lower taxes
  • Higher rates of pay than a permanent employee
  • Increased flexibility
  • You are in charge of the work you undertake

These are just some of the benefits that you can enjoy as a contractor and at Contractor Accountants Online; we pride ourselves on providing proactive tax advice so that you can operate in the most tax efficient way possible. To find out more about how we can help, call our friendly team on 020 7481 4743.

Starting your career as an oil and gas contractor

Oil and gas contractors are specialists in their chosen field and have an abundance of experience behind them, meaning that not anyone can just quit their 9 to 5 and say they are starting life as an oil and gas contractor.

One of the essential prerequisites of many contract roles in the industry is a degree in a relevant subject, most commonly something mathematical or science based. Therefore, if you haven’t already got a relevant degree and are thinking about becoming an oil and gas contractor, this should be the first thing on your list. A quick search on Google should present you with a range of institutions that you could study at.

The next thing on the list is experience, so assuming you have been working in the industry for a number of years, you’ll need to put together a comprehensive contractor CV.

Your contractor CV will be quite different from the one that you would have used when searching for permanent jobs. You’ll need to place greater emphasis on your skills and what you have achieved in the workplace rather than how you are a strong team player and are looking to be part of a company that you can work with long-term. The client will be far more interested in how you can make an immediate impact to help them achieve their objectives.

You’ll be looking for work more regularly than when you were in permanent employment, so your contractor CV will be one of your most prized assets.

Finding work as an oil and gas contractor

One thing that many contractors (especially those just starting out) struggle with, is finding work. They’ll try the regular avenue of applying to contract roles through recruitment agencies, but there are also a number of other things that you can do to improve your chances of finding that next contract.

Recruitment agencies

There are countless specialist oil and gas recruitment agencies that will be advertising most of the available positions in the industry. A quick Google search will provide you with a variety of options and you’ll just need to send the recruiter your CV for consideration. If you tick their boxes, they’ll most likely ask you to come in for an interview.


In addition to speaking with recruitment agencies, LinkedIn can be the perfect tool for finding work as a contractor. Have a look through your current list of connections and see if there is anyone you know who works at a company that you would benefit from your experience in the oil and gas industry.

If you find someone, send them a short message telling them that you are looking for a new contract role and ask if they would be able to pass your CV onto the relevant person at the company. The chances are that they will be able to do so.

Another fantastic feature of LinkedIn is the ability to search for a company and see the employees that have a profile on the social network. Let’s say for example that you would love to get a contract with BP, you can search for BP on LinkedIn and see a list of all their employees. As you scroll down the list either looking for a manager in the department you would work in or a HR representative, you can see if you have any shared connections.

If you identify a relevant person with a shared connection, there is nothing stopping you contacting your mutual friend and asking if they could introduce you, it might just be your door into one of the major players in the industry.

At Contractor Accountants Online, we are experts in contractor accountancy and if you appoint us, you’ll never need to worry about tax or accountancy affairs again. We offer a fixed-fee service starting at just £55 per month.

Our services include:

  • Annual accounts submission
  • Management information
  • Corporation tax calculations and submissions
  • Monthly payroll and RTI returns
  • Quarterly VAT returns
  • Annual returns for Companies House
  • Personal tax return for the director
  • Manage your finances online with Free Agent

All of our accountants are fully qualified, so rest assured that you are in safe hands, to find out more, call our experts on 020 7481 4743.