Houston, Texas: The Best City for Oil Jobs

Searching for a new job can be a stressful experience, particularly if you work in an industry that operates only in select locations. The oil industry is a good example. People who want to work in that industry have to follow the oil.

Our pick for the best city for oil jobs is Houston, Texas. Not only is Texas the home of big oil in the United States, Houston is one of the most important cities in the world when it comes to oil and gas production. Here are some of the reasons we chose it for our list.

Strategic Location

One of the reasons that Houston has taken center stage in the United States’ oil industry is that its central location, between Canada and South America, makes it a hub of oil activity in the Western Hemisphere.

Texas is also centrally located within the United States, meaning that oil pumped here can easily be transported around the country and around the world. Whether you work on the rigs or in an office, there are plenty of opportunities for oil workers in Houston.

High Production

The best oil jobs are always going to be found in places whose economies rely heavily on oil – and that applies to Houston. In fact, as of 2016, fully two-thirds of the city’s exports were oil and gas, making it a true oil city.

Where the oil flows, the opportunities follow. Because oil looms large here, workers in search of oil jobs flock here to find them.

Low Cost of Living

While this point doesn’t relate only to the oil industry, it is worth noting that living in Houston is quite affordable when compared to some other cities in the United States. Overall, costs are close to the national average, which makes Houston very affordable when compared to cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

The median salary as of 2016 was just over $50,000 and the average price of a home was about $190,000. In practical terms, that means that oil workers who move here are likely to be able to afford to buy homes and put down roots.

Strong Job Market

The job market is certainly strong in Houston for workers in the oil industry. There are hundreds of oil fields in the area meaning that there are jobs for people who work on the rigs, in the fields, and in support roles.

A plus for people who might want to move here is that the oil industry isn’t the only game in town. Houston’s unemployment rate was slightly above the national average as of January, but there are plenty of job opportunities in industries such as healthcare services, education, government, and travel.

Room for Advancement

It stands to reason that living in a city with a large number of jobs in a particular industry would offer opportunities for advancement. While it’s certainly not a guarantee, oil workers who move to Houston can take advantage of competition between oil companies to advance their careers quickly.

No industry can guarantee advancement, but it’s certainly far easier to move up the ladder when you have options available, and that is true in Houston.


Despite efforts to minimize the United States’ dependency on fossil fuels, the oil industry is still the biggest and most reliable source of jobs in Houston – and the driving force behind its economy. If you want to find a good job in the oil industry, then Houston is the best city in the United States to look for one.


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