How to Become a Landman: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 09, 2018

Learn how to become a landman. Research the education and career requirements, training information and experience needed to start a career as a landman.

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  • 0:03 Should I Become a Landman?
  • 0:29 Career Requirements
  • 0:52 Steps to Become a Landman

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Should I Become a Landman?

A landman performs services for gas and oil exploration companies, typically focusing on business negotiations between oil companies and private landowners to determine leasing rights. This job can be stressful, and requires extensive knowledge of relevant laws, public policies, real estate, and natural resource production. Landmen can sometimes travel as part of the job, to conduct research and inspect sites.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Petroleum land management, energy management, business or a related major
Experience Most employers look for relevant experience in the field
Key Skills Communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, critical-thinking, and problem-solving; proficiency using a computer is typically expected
Salary (2016) $77,343 per year (National average)

Source:, September 2016

Steps to Become a Landman

A landman generally has a combination of formal education and experience, along with voluntary certification.

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program

Aspiring landmen may pursue a degree that focuses on land and resource management, petroleum geology, or business management. In any program, students should develop a strong knowledge of real estate laws and government regulations. Landmen often use courthouse records of property deeds while negotiating lease settlements, so knowing the legal effects of these settlements is vital. Mineral rights, surface rights, and other property owner resource regulations must be considered in a landman's business proposal. In some circumstances, landmen may need to renegotiate contracts to meet current environmental and business laws.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Some oil and gas exploration companies offer college graduates job opportunities directly out of school. Employers often look for experience in right-of-way negotiations, land acquisition, and oil, gas, and mineral rights. Candidates in entry-level positions can learn skills valuable to landmen, such as drafting contracts and obtaining necessary approval for projects. Some people may be able to start as associate landmen, traveling to client properties and working with professional landmen to assess lease values and the amount of property resources.

Earn certification. Members of the American Association of Professional Landmen are eligible to take the organization's Registered Landman, Registered Professional Landman, or Certified Professional Landman exams. Depending on the level of certification, candidates may need to meet education and experience requirements, obtain sponsorship, and/or attend continuing education seminars.

Step 3: Enhance Qualifications for Career Advancement

Gaining certification and pursuing continuing education in the field is necessary for advance in this line of work. Because most landmen work on contract, jobs are competitive. Those who have certification, appropriate training, and experience will get more jobs and earn the highest salaries.

A landman career requires a bachelor's degree in land and resource management or a related field, coupled with experience and voluntary professional certification. Continuing education and maintaining certification can be key to ongoing employment and career advancement.

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