Oil and Gas Careers

The oil and gas industry spans multiple countries, meaning that oil and gas careers can be found all over the world. The Middle East, Russia, and Canada are just a few of the countries that house a majority of the world's oil. The demand for oil and gas is at an all-time high, making oil and gas careers more abundant than ever. Because of the demand, oil prices are rising. Oil companies need to be constantly coming up with new and innovative ways not only to find more oil, but to be able to extract more from known reserves. Oil sands, offshore drilling and opening wildlife refuges to drilling are just some of the ideas.

There are oil and gas careers in three main sectors: upstream, midstream, and downstream. The upstream sector focuses on oil production and exploration, although it may include drilling, engineering, and equipment manufacturing. Oil and gas careers in the upstream sector are in high demand because these jobs are usually the unique ones that allow people to travel.

The upstream sector allows you to work in various countries, especially after you gain more experience and develop the needed skills.

The midstream sector involves the oil pipelines. Once the oil is retrieved from the ground, the many miles of pipelines help transport and refine the oil. Oil and gas careers in the downstream sector focus on managing the oil and gas and selling it to service stations or distributors. The smaller companies tend to focus on only one sector, while the larger companies may be involved in all three.

Most oil and gas careers at the entry level are found in transportation, production, and refining. These careers can be found at companies other than oil and gas companies. Oil service companies often need representatives to install and maintain equipment. Those looking for oil and gas careers in engineering or exploration often need more education and training.

Advantages of Oil and Gas Careers

For those interested in oil and gas careers, there are many positive aspects to consider. A career in this industry can be exciting for those who are looking for a unique and uncommon job. It can be a rewarding experience to those who enjoy challenges and finding ways to solve problems. In addition, there are other perks such as travel and good pay.

Oil and gas careers are abundant and available around the world. This is not true for most industries. Many good jobs in many industries are hard to come by and very competitive because of the number of qualified candidates. However, with the oil and gas industry, there are many jobs available, making the industry easy to enter without a postgraduate degree. If you are looking for a stable and well-paying career in a booming industry, oil and gas careers may be for you.

Oil and gas careers also offer good pay when compared to other industries. Like any other industry, the pay can vary depending on the position, company, and experience. An entry-level position may pay $15 an hour with an increase of up to $25 an hour after several years of experience. It is not uncommon for oil workers to make $300-$400 a day. Rig operators average $23-$38 an hour. Control center operators can make $60,000 to $68,000 a year. Oil and gas careers can offer six-figure salaries to those with the right education and experience. Technicians in senior-level positions can make upwards of $145,000 annually. Geologists and geophysicists can make anywhere from $60,000 to $220,000 annually, depending on experience, certification, and overtime and bonus pay. Engineers can make six figures, depending on the level of experience. Some can make more than $200,000 annually.

Oil and gas careers are known for not only high salaries, but many benefits as well. Most companies offer health insurance, 401k plans, and profit sharing. Some also offer perks such as free travel, food, and living expenses. Another benefit with oil and gas careers is the opportunity for growth. You are always learning and training on the job, so you are gaining new skills regularly. In addition, you may work for several weeks at a time and then get several weeks off. If you like having more than a weekend off at a time, you may enjoy the vacation benefits of oil and gas careers.

Oil and gas careers also offer opportunities to travel and see the world. The petroleum industry is global in nature. With most of the world's oil found in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and Russia, you could potentially have a job halfway around the world. You may work off the California coast, in the wilderness of Alaska, or in the deserts of the Middle East. Most companies pay for travel and living expenses while on the job, so it's a nice perk to many people to be able to travel the world for free. Oil and gas careers are exciting to people who are adventurous and like to travel.

Disadvantages of Oil and Gas Careers

Although oil and gas careers may seem glamorous and exciting to many people, they are not the right fit for everyone. Most oil and gas careers require people who are looking for a unique career. A career in this industry is not your average 9-5 job. You can expect to work long and varied hours and be away from your family for long periods of time. Oil and gas careers often require a lot of hard physical labor. You may be called upon to work out in the field miles away from civilization and often in unsafe conditions.

Oil and gas careers offer many benefits, but sometimes the extensive travel and time away from home can be a major disadvantage. It can be hard for many people to be away from their home and family for several weeks at a time. In addition, since many oil rigs are far away from major towns, you may be seeing the same people every day. It can be lonely for some people.

Those who work in oil and gas careers need to be able to work well with others. If you are working out on a rig, you will need to be able to communicate well with your co-workers. Although you will have free living quarters while out on the job, they are not exactly spacious. Living spaces can be cramped and uncomfortable. You will be sharing everything with others. This can result in a lack of privacy.

Those who work in oil and gas careers out in the field can expect hard work. Rig jobs expect you to get down and dirty. However, the working area must always be clean and free of dangers. Workers must be on able to steer clear of the equipment. The work requires someone who is strong and physically fit. It is not a job for the weak or those who like to stay clean.

Another disadvantage of oil and gas careers is that they can be dangerous. The work environment alone is very noisy, resulting in possible hearing loss. Motors are constantly running at high volumes, making even the loudest shouting unheard. Workers have to learn to communicate by using hand signals. They must be alert at all times to look for emergency hand signals. Another element of danger is the extreme weather conditions. Oil and gas careers involve working in freezing conditions, sweltering heat, and humidity. There is the risk of tornadoes and freezing winds, making frostbite a reality.

Another disadvantage is the long work days. For many of those working in oil and gas careers, it is not uncommon to work 12-hour days for weeks at a time. The amount of stress, pressure, and exhaustion can build up over time and cause anger among co-workers as well as a lack of concentration. The lack of concentration can lead to mistakes that can be dangerous. Many companies work hard to monitor these incidents and prevent them from happening in order to make working conditions safe for all workers.

Oil and Gas Career Options

Finding Oil and Gas Careers

Although oil and gas careers are not average careers that you can find in your local newspaper, there are many ways to find them. If you are currently attending school, the internship department may know of opportunities available. School counselors often keep abreast of companies looking for employees in a particular field. If there are petroleum companies in your area, you may want to contact them and ask them about any oil and gas careers they may have available.

Looking for oil and gas careers online is a good choice. There are many websites that focus on compiling petroleum jobs throughout the country or even the world. A few keystrokes can literally give you access to thousands of oil and gas careers. You can search by job type, location, or company. Some sites even allow you to post your resume online for employers to view or to sign up for e-mail updates informing you when new jobs that match your interests have been posted.

Subscribing to online forums is also a good way to find oil and gas careers. This allows you to network with others with similar interests. Letting as many people as you can know of your career intentions in the petroleum industry can lead to new job opportunities. Joining professional oil and gas associations can also lead to new opportunities in oil and gas careers. Attending petroleum-related meetings and events will allow you to meet people in the field who may refer you to petroleum jobs. If you enjoy reading about the oil and gas industry, look for magazines and journals about the industry. These publications often contain advertisements for oil and gas careers. Taking advantage of all the resources available to you will open many doors leading to oil and gas careers.

Last Updated: 05/15/2014

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