On the post, I shall address the question, “Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path?” So I will be telling you what oil and gas production is all about and the numerous benefits for pursuing a career in it. I will also show you the education cum certification requirements and the entry-level position in oil & gas production.
Table of Contents
Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path
I shall begin this discussion by first beaming my searchlight on the Oil & Gas Production industry. Thereafter, I will delve into the various careers around it, the pros and cons, and so on.
The Oil & Gas Production Industry
There are many sources of energy in the world today including the wind, solar and hydro. But out of all these sources, fossil fuels are the most reliable and they have been so for many centuries.
Because of its reliability, the world civilization has been built around it despite its many other downsides.
If you know anything about the production of fossil fuels, you will know that it is extremely damaging to the environment. Oil drilling causes pollution and loss of habitat.
More so, the burning of fossil fuels emits damaging greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. This causes greenhouse effect, acid rain, global warming and other undesirable environmental effects.
Read Also: 5 Reasons People Choose the Wrong Career
Further to the above and also worth mentioning is the fact that the oil & gas production industry is very unstable in terms of price. The prices of commodities fluctuate really very widely making it difficult for companies in the industry to plan their future.
Another challenge with the oil and gas production industry is the uncertainty of its future. Most of the things we use in this world are oil-based. But the environmental degradation caused by mining, drilling and burning fossil fuels has become an issue of global concern.
The world is trying to phase out fossil fuels. Although many have said this is practically impossible, the efforts may affect the prospects of the industry in the future. So in the next few decades, the oil and gas industry may not have the same appeal as it has today globally.
A Career in Oil & Gas Production
Despite all the unpleasant things and drawbacks you read above about the oil and gas production industry, millions of people still pursue careers in the industry.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. The industry can be extremely lucrative field so pursuing a career there is a great option.
People working in the sector get above-average pay checks and have access to opportunities to advance in their career.
Although one can make a lot of money working in the oil and gas production sector, getting the right education and certification is the first step to getting in. So you need to have the right skills, experience and certification. I will discuss this in details in the coming sections.
Read Also: Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production
Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path?
Is oil and gas production really a good career path? I’m sure this question ringing more in your mind now, especially after what you have read so far. You are wondering why you should choose a career path in an industry that is already speculated would phase out in future.
Even if the industry does not phase out, is oil and gas production really the best field to venture into?
The truth is that oil and gas production is a dirty and tedious job. Workers in the industry spend months away from home and they work long hours in some of the remotest and most dangerous places in the world.
Yes, nothing accidental may happen to the workers because they put on safety gears. But what about the dangerous chemicals they inhale everyday?
All these notwithstanding, however, many still think that pursuing a career path in the oil & gas production sector is worthwhile.
Here are some of the reasons…
Using the Pros to Answer the Question, “Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path?”
Here are the reasons why many believe that oil and gas production is a good career path. Many of the reasons border around the numerous benefit.
1. Very High Salaries
Everyone knows that oil and gas production is a multi-billion dollar industry. The companies in the industry make a lot of money and that often gets down to the employees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for workers in the oil and gas production industry is $102,190. Obviously, this is substantially higher than the national average salary of $58,260 per year.
So if you are looking for a very high paying job, you may need to consider this industry.
2. High Demand for Workers
There is a very high demand for workers in the oil & gas production industry. This is also one of the reasons why most jobs in the industry are extremely lucrative. Very few people want to want in the industry because the work is often difficult, dangerous, and dirty. Consequently, the demand is higher than the supply.
3. Job Opportunities Around the World
Like we said earlier, the civilization of the world is centered around the oil & gas production industry. So there are numerous job opportunities in different countries of the world for people with varying degree of training and certification.
4. Skill Acquisition
Working in the oil and gas production industry, you learn valuable skills that are applicable to other sectors. If you are an engineer, for instance, you could work comfortably in the construction or manufacturing sector.
As an employee working in the oil & gas production industry, you have plenty of opportunities to travel. In fact, you are very likely to travel around your country. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself working on different rigs around the world.
6. Opportunities for on-the-job trainings and Career Growth
There are many job advancement opportunities available in the oil & gas production industry. So there are plenty of opportunities for career growth. This is especially true for people willing to put in the work, they could rise up through the ranks quickly.
Using the Cons to Answer the Question, “Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path?”
The truth is that a career in the oil & gas production industry is not for everyone. That’s the whole truth and it’s very important to also look critically at the cons before making a decision.
In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the downsides of choosing a career in the oil and gas production industry. So that you will find out the reasons why most people think that the remunerations are not worth the effort and time.
Here are the main cons…
1. Instability of Oil and Gas Prices
I’ve made mention of this before but it bears repeating. The oil and gas production industry is very unstable. Prices for the commodities fluctuate every now and then. The instability leads to loss of jobs and inability to plan for the future.
So in the oil and gas production industry, you don’t enjoy job security. Oil and gas companies react to significant drops in price by laying off workers.
Losing your job can be psychologically and financially devastating. You don’t want that.
More so, many countries are working towards reducing their dependence on oil and gas. It’s something to worry about even though the demand for oil and gas is not expected to end any time soon. (Actually, studies predict an increase of 1.9 million jobs in the oil and gas industry by 2035.)
2. Challenging work
Working in the oil and gas production industry is very challenging. You get to stay months away from home. Imagine how this can impact both your personal and family life.
Then you will have to work long hours under difficult and dangerous conditions. If doing physically strenuous jobs is not your thing, you need to rethink taking up a job in the oil and gas production industry.
3. Health hazards
Health hazards is another grave downside of working in the oil and gas production industry. You will be exposed to different potentially harmful chemicals on a daily basis.
Yes, the job might be lucrative and you will make a lot of money. But in the long run, you might come down with acute respiratory problems or other health issues.
4. On-the-job Safety
The oil and gas production industry has a very poor reputation for on-the-job safety. However, many companies in different countries are beginning to take great steps to minimize some of the risks.
Although safety incidents in the oil and gas production industry have reduced by 41% over the last 10 years, they are still there. So this is a major factor to consider when thinking about getting a job in the oil and gas production industry.
5. Environmentally unfriendly
Oil drilling and burning of fossil fuels very environmentally unfriendly activities. So if you are concerned about climate change, the oil and gas production industry might not be the right field for you. Yes, because you will be contributing directly to the problem rather than the solution if you work in this industry.
More so, governments can put you out of work by making one policy or the other. And you will agree with me that it is not a desirable prospect.
So this is how far we can go trying to answer the question, “Is oil & gas production a good career path?” using the pros and cons of working in the industry.
It is very advisable that you carefully consider all of these factors before making a decision about your career. By so doing, you will insure yourself against regrets in the future.
Oil & Gas Education & Certification Requirements
There are no specific educational and certification requirements for jobs in the oil and gas industry. The requirements vary greatly. For example, there are many jobs in the industry that require little or no experience in this field. More so, there are many companies which are willing to offer on-the-job training.
If you are interested in fixing yourself to a higher position, maybe as an engineer or geoscientist, you would require a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree in that specific field to get a job.
Best Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Production (for those who have settled the Question, “Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path?”)
There are many jobs in the oil and gas production industry. Some of the jobs are available for candidates with limited or even no experience working in the field. These are low position jobs.
But the higher position jobs require higher qualifications and certifications. You may require a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree to access such positions.
However, those who enter the oil and gas production industry at low positions can aspire for higher positions. They can prepare themselves for career advancement through on-the-job trainings.
Here are the best paying jobs in oil & gas production industry…
1. Truck Drivers
Because of the nature of the oil and gas industry, there is a high demand for truck drivers. Truck drivers play the key role of transporting oil and gas products from point to point. But beyond that, there is also need for drivers of construction vehicles, such as cement mixers, dump trucks and flatbed trucks.
This job does not require serious educational qualification or certification. All that is needed is physical, mental and visual health, skill and working experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for truck drivers is $48,310.
A roustabout is an unskilled or casual laborer in the oil and gas production industry. He carries out a variety of on-site duties such as
- cleaning and repairing drilling equipment,
- cleaning up minor oil spills,
- inspecting and maintaining pipes.
Most companies in the oil and gas production industry do not require previous working experience for the role of a roustabout. So you can apply for the job as long as you have the physical fitness and willingness to learn.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for roustabouts is $38,920.
The drilling rig floorhands are also referred to as roughneck. They work on the oil rig floor, handling difficult and physically strenuous operations under the direction of the on-site supervisors.
The floorhands handle a long list of on-site duties such as
- repairing equipment
But all these must be done at the request of the supervisor on duty.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for floorhands is $30,320
4. Construction Workers
As the name of job implies, construction workers carry out the construction works in the oil and gas industry. Their services are required in the initial construction of oil and gas wells, and in the construction of platforms, maintenance buildings and so on.
Obviously, applicants for this job must have basic construction skills. However, they do not necessarily require specific experience in the gas and oil production industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for construction workers is $37,520.
Welding of piping and other metal material is indispensable in the oil and gas production industry. It is necessary to create safe working environment and efficient operations.
Although seekers of this job may need a welder certification or license, they do not need any prior experience in the oil and gas industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for welder is $47,010.
6. Safety Officer Assistants
Over the decades, the oil and gas production industry has maintained a very poor reputation for on-the-job safety. On account of this, most companies in the industry are investing so much in safety measures and practices.
Therefore, they employ safety officers to ensure that production processes at the refineries meet all safety protocols. The safety office assistants work directly under the supervision of a senior-level safety officer.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for safety officer is $51,120.
7. Diesel Mechanic
Daily maintenance of equipment is an integral practice in the oil and gas production industry. This is to ensure that equipment are working efficiently and to avoid major breakdown.
The people in charge of repairs and maintenance of on-site equipment are the diesel mechanics. To be employed as one, you need experience in diesel mechanics, but the experience does not have to be specific to the oil and gas production industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for diesel mechanic is $48,690.
8. Derrick Operator
Derrick operators and rotary drill operators keep the mud away so that drills can run smoothly. These workers listen to drills to ensure the vibrations are normal and may collect samples of material from the hole to monitor output.
For this job position, many companies offer on-the-job training. So you can apply without any form of certification or qualification.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary derrick operator is $47,230.
9. Rotary Drill Operator
Rotary drill operators make use of various equipment to increase oil flow from producing wells. They oversee installation of drills and maintain their operation by removing stuck pipes and other obstructions from drilling wells.
Oil and gas production companies employ rotary drill operators at construction sites and drilling rigs. Usually, the companies prefer to train the operators on the job. So as an applicant, you may be able to obtain an internship or apprenticeship position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for rotary drill operator is $56,380.
Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to learn about its past, present, and future. They are often involved in the discovery and development of commercially viable and exploitable reserves of natural resources, such as oil, gas, and solid minerals.
So they play a huge role in determining where to drill. They also use scientific methods to estimate the amount of oil or gas available at a particular site and the potential environmental impact.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for geoscientist is $83,680.
[Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path]
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