Becoming an Oil and Gas Engineer

(4 minutes to read)

From travelling the world, to increasing your take home pay, there are countless benefits to becoming an Oil & Gas Engineer. We cover everything from tax, to boosting your income in this guide.

Many of the people working within the oil and gas industry are independent contractors. In fact, it is thought that at any given time around 20 per cent of the skilled staff employed by the world’s largest oil and gas companies are contractors. That means that if you choose the life of an oil and gas engineer, you will have a wide range of unique employment opportunities available to you, without ever having to tie yourself to just one company.

Top Reasons to Become an Oil and Gas Engineering Contractor

There are many benefits of choosing to become a contractor within the oil and gas engineering industry. Your skills are in high demand, so if you like the idea of working flexibly and for a variety of different companies, rather than just one firm, then these are the best reasons to choose a career as an oil and gas engineering contractor:

  • Travel the World: Contracting within the oil and gas engineering industry provides a unique opportunity to travel the world and work within a wide variety of different companies, without having to sacrifice your income. You could be in Dubai one month and northern Scotland the next – combine travelling with doing the job you love.
  • Expand Your Skills: If you are looking to enhance your CV by developing a huge spectrum of skills, then working as a contractor will enable you to expand your skills much faster than working in a permanent role. This is because you will work in a diverse range of different companies and teams over the course of a year, meeting lots of different people and really broadening your abilities.
  • Boost Your Income: Contractors within the Oil and Gas Engineering industry are paid significantly more than their permanently employed counterparts. Because you won’t be paid sick pay, pension contributions or receive an annual leave entitlement from your employer, you will receive a much higher rate of pay. Although it is worth considering that you will have to pay these expenses from the salary you receive.

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How to Begin Your Contracting Career

If you have decided that the life of an oil and gas engineering contractor is the perfect role for you, then you will need to establish your reputation and begin to approach the companies that you are interested in working with. Some companies would welcome you approaching them directly, whilst others will work via an employment agency; it should be relatively easy to determine this by doing a little search engine research. Raeburn, Orion and Your Energy are all specialist recruiters that focus on recruiting contractors to the oil and gas industry.

Once you have your first client and are officially an Oil and Gas Engineer Contractor, you will need to decide how you are going to process your income and organise your finances. You could choose to work through an Umbrella Company, who will provide a low level of administrative support but in exchange you will receive a lower percentage of the earnings you receive (typically 60-65% of your salary). Alternatively, you could set up your own Limited Company and maximise your earnings – contractors who work through a Limited Company typically bring home between 70-80% of their annual earnings. Setting up a Limited Company is a straightforward process that requires you to register your company (a process that takes around 15 minutes) and then open a business banking account. You will need to complete between 15-20 minutes of administrative paperwork each month, but the payoff for this small amount of workload is an increased amount of cash at the end of each year. Setting up your own Limited Company will entitle you to a range of different tax efficiency options, claim more versatile expenses and have a greater amount of control over your own business concerns.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Accountant

Every contractor working through their own limited company should be advised to secure the services of an accountancy firm that specialises in working with contractors and freelancers, such as Dolan Accountancy. We are one of the UK’s most trusted fixed-fee specialist accountancy firms and we pride ourselves on the quality of service we offer all of our clients.

For a low monthly fee we can provide our contracting clients with their a dedicated accountant, who will advise on any new tax innovations and the best ways to save money. They will also be available for you to call or on a schedule that suits you. When you choose Dolan Accountancy you are choosing the best in the business. Our reputation for excellence makes us one of the best firms on the market.

If you are thinking of moving into the field of Engineering Contracting and have any questions about the practicalities of contracting or would like any further advice about starting your own Limited Company then why not give us a call? Our expert team would love to talk to you about your specific needs and advise you on the path that’s right for you.

If you are thinking about making the move to contracting, please give Jaime a call on 01442 795 100 or email

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or