Education and Training Requirements

High School

A good foundation for future work as a landman includes classes in math, science (geology in particular), English, and computer science. Learning another language may also be useful.

Postsecondary Education

Most landmen have a bachelor's degree in business, energy management, land and resource management, or other related areas. Courses cover such topics as business management, petroleum geology, energy structures and markets, financial management, and project management in the oil and gas industry and/or the energy or renewable energy industry. Knowledge of real estate laws and government regulations are essential in the job, so classes in these topics are also beneficial.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification is voluntary and can boost a landman's career. Landmen with certification may advance their skills and have more opportunities to secure work that pays higher salaries than those without certification. Landmen who meet educational and work experience requirements and pass certification exams may be designated as one of the following: Registered Landman (RL), Registered Professional Landman (RPL), and Certified Professional Landman (CPL). The American Association of Professional Landmen offers certification programs for professional landmen.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most employers prefer to hire landmen with several years of experience in negotiating right-of-way deals and acquiring lands and rights to oil, gas, and minerals. Some companies may hire recent college graduates for entry-level positions such as an intern or assistant landman, providing assistance with such tasks as securing project approvals and drafting contracts. Associate landmen work closely with landmen, helping them to assess properties and the available resources on those properties. Landmen must have strong communication and persuasive skills to negotiate with landowners, some of whom may not be interested in selling or leasing their property. Knowledge of surface and mineral rights and environmental and real estate laws is essential. Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are also called upon regularly in this type of work. Landmen rely on solid management and interpersonal skills for overseeing project teams and staff members.