Salary and Career Info for a Petroleum Landman

A petroleum landman requires a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the education and job duties to see if this is the right career for you.

Petroleum landmen help negotiate deals, draw up contracts and complete reports and project management for gas and oil exploration companies. An aspiring petroleum landman must have good communication, research and negotiating skills.

Essential Information

Petroleum landmen work for gas and oil exploration companies. Their chief responsibility is getting permission to drill new wells, which includes drafting contracts, negotiating deals with individuals and companies, and ensuring compliance with governmental regulations. Most people entering the field today have an undergraduate degree in business, energy management, or a related field. They can also get industry certification through the American Association of Professional Landmen.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in business or energy management
Required Skills Negotiating deals, drawing up contracts, completing financial reporting and project management tasks, and possessing communicative and persuasive abilities
Certification Voluntary certification available
Median Annual Salary (Jan. 2016)* $76,036

Source: *PayScale.com

Petroleum Landman Salary Information

According to PayScale.com, the majority of petroleum landmen earned between $47,768-$120,535 as of January 2016, including base pay and bonuses. At that time, the median salary in this field was $76,036.

Career Information

A petroleum landman, often simply called a landman, is involved in scouting areas that could possibly hold oil. Once a petroleum landman has identified areas for drilling, he or she must negotiate contracts between the landowner and the oil and gas company. These contracts often include specifics concerning royalties, as well as a lease payment for the landowner. Communication and interpersonal skills are important since a petroleum landman is selling the idea of a lifetime lease to farmers, ranchers, and other landowners.


Oil and gas companies typically search for petroleum landman candidates who hold a degree in business or another area, such as energy management. An undergraduate energy management degree program generally includes foundational business courses and classes specific to the oil and gas industry. Core energy management courses might cover topics like petroleum geology, financial reporting, energy markets and structures, project management in the energy industry, and/or renewable energy.


Petroleum landmen can pursue voluntary certification through the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), which offers the Registered Landman (RL), Registered Professional Landman (RPL), and Certified Professional Landman (CPL) designations. Requirements vary for each level of certification, but, in general, they include meeting education and/or experience requirements, holding a current position as a landman, being sponsored by one or more registered or certified landmen and passing an exam. To renew their certification, petroleum landmen must meet continuing education requirements.

Candidates for a petroleum landman position typically have a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, such as business or energy management. Persuasion and negotiation skills are key to this position, as landmen often have to convince individuals or business that possess the rights to oil or gas to sign contracts with gas and oil exploration companies. Research and project management skills are also important. Certification is voluntary, and includes passing an exam.

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