The standpoint for employment in the industry of oil and gas today has been consistently vehement. Most people are expecting a “crew shift” transformation because today a lot of existing employees are quitting or retiring due to which there is substantial demand and fresh employment opportunities. The petroleum industry is one of the most wanted industries for employees because of challenge and payment. There has been increasing need for people who are skilled and credible, ranging through different genres from roustabouts, drilling supervisors, geologists, & engineers, health and environmental consultants, etc. A couple of strong years of experience and consistency in the oil and gas industry could lead to brilliant opportunities and a bright future ahead. However, the question that arises is- “How should one go about it?”
Usually people can start their journey in this industry through technical or entry-level positions, which might need certain qualifications, but it is not mandatory. It could be helpful to have some kind of knowledge or experience in mechanical or electrical knowledge because these skills can land you a job in oil & gas industry easier. Your resume will get better with safety-related or technical certifications. Apart from these, leadership & communication skills, working under pressure, being a perfectionist, team work and co-ordination are also required.
Offshore or Onshore?
Positions for both offshore & onshore are available; however, offshore jobs have better pay since individuals with more experience are chosen for the offshore jobs. In fact, offshore operations are quite expensive hence safe & efficient operations are crucial. There are some who think of offshore jobs as more dangerous, and require workers to stay away from home for longer time. There’s no doubt that such kind of jobs involve more long hours of duty and more difficult task, but when it comes to pay, it’s worth it.
Technical Knowledge – Do You Really Need It?
It would be helpful to give importance to your education for long term benefits because the people who succeed the most in this industry are college & technical school graduates in technical & professional positions.
You can opt for a 24-month degree course in technical degrees as mechanical and electrical technology, construction management, welding, etc, and further direct technical or mechanical experience will add to your resume. A degree from a good institute can help build your career options.
If you are a graduate and have a bachelor in engineering or science degree, it will present you to various better and high opportunities in your oilfield career. A bachelor’s degree in engineering could be advisable because the skills of an engineer are always needed in this industry. A degree in Civil, Petroleum, Mechanical, Chemical or Electrical Engineering or in Geophysics or Geology would be really helpful for your career.
What Positions Are Available If I Don’t Have a Technical Background?
If you don’t have a college degree, you still have several opportunities for radio operators, field hands, rig crew, heavy machinery operators, welders, roustabouts, drivers, cooks etc. Besides, most of the companies give training after hiring. You still can move up the ladder even though you don’t have the technical background. After you joint the company, if you work hard, your work and your experience will help you in the future career.
Experience and Network
Along with good education and good work experience, you need to have good networking skills to succeed in this industry. Very often there are opportunities which aren’t brought to people’s notice enough, so aspiring candidates are not aware of potential opportunities. So you need to network, talk to professionals, friends, and mentors in the industry as well as local & national professional organizations.
Service Companies Are Also a Good Choice to Work in The Oilfield
More often than not, it is easier to get an opportunity at a service company, as compared to the big companies like Chevron or ExxonMobil. Service companies (Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker, Weatherford, etc) usually provide ample positions for various operators and they also indulge in lot of research and development work. More often than not, you will come across news of companies merging, growing or hiring. You should keep the option of working anywhere outside your hometown open, which means, you should be willing to relocate if you have to. Usually, opportunities available would be in places which deal in extraction of oil and gas, like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alaska, & North Dakota. There are ample great opportunities available to develop and nurture a career in this industry.