It’s difficult to get information about entry-level oil and gas (O&G) employment. Seek engines may lead you in circles, most postings need 5-10 years of expertise, and as you search, you start to question whether the information you need is just not available. So, if you don’t know where to begin, how can you end up with a fulfilling O&G career?
A Global Industry in Transition
The energy sector is at a fork in the road. The industry is evolving. Experienced employees are preparing to retire at a time when exploratory initiatives are getting increasingly difficult. Working in the oil industry does not need sleeping on offshore rigs. Delivering machine parts, working on a rig, building pipelines, and driving a truck are all examples of O&G entry-level employment. From initial design through decommissioning, you may be working on anything.
Larger corporations have made work-life balance a priority. The more difficult the job, the more probable you will receive lengthy breaks or be able to leave early – two weeks on the rig is typically followed by two weeks off! There are also possibilities for international travel – Houston, Perth, and Abu Dhabi are E&P hubs, while Mexico, Mozambique, Singapore, Nigeria, and Russia are all developing. It also doesn’t hurt that the compensation is excellent.
Roles at the Entry Level
Many jobs do not need specific schooling; skills may be picked up on the job. This is particularly true in operational positions, where employees begin as “green hands” and work their way up as they gain experience. It’s also worth mentioning that the oil and gas sector is a complex web of hundreds of contractors and subcontractors, with various kinds of work distributed among experts. Everything from pipe installation to cleaning may be outsourced individually, and every sector requires entry-level employees who can “start from the bottom up” and pick up new skills quickly.
It’s important to keep two things in mind. 1) Because the occupations do not need a special education, there is seldom a labor shortage. As a result, businesses are less inclined to advertise or will only promote locally. People may come in and submit their resumes on the spot. New workers are often hired as a result of referrals. 2) Third-party recruitment companies are typically used to fill the positions. This is why there aren’t many entry-level positions listed on the BP website. Companies in the oil and gas industry delegate recruiting choices to trustworthy partners.
Here’s how to locate entry-level O&G employment in two easy steps:
- Decide where you wish to work in the world. This requires some research and flexibility, since entry-level positions may need you to relocate across the nation. After all, the cash isn’t going to come to you (sadly). North Dakota and Texas are the two best places to visit if you live in the United States. If you’re in Canada, go to Alberta, where the oil sands contain the world’s second-largest oil reserves. Choose the North Sea in the United Kingdom. Create a list of every city in this nation, state, or province.
- Look for classified/jobs websites that advertise job openings by location (e.g. Careercast or Monster.com). Check out what local media is accessible as well. Local newspapers and radio stations may be found on Wikipedia for each city on your list. Their websites are a wealth of local knowledge. If you can’t find an appropriate O&G job, don’t give up. Keep in mind that most entry-level positions will not be advertised. Make a list of all relevant businesses that are recruiting and contact HR personally (phone or email). Recruiters, particularly at the entry-level, generally have a decent sense of what’s coming through the pipeline and where you could fit in. They may also be able to refer you to the company’s recruiting partners.
Obtain the Correct Certificates
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) study courses may be helpful as a recruiting technique to assist you get your foot in the door. Math, physics, geology, and engineering (chemical, petroleum, mechanical, electrical, and environmental) are all typical qualifications in the sector.
However, obtaining a specialized practical qualification, such as an oil rig training program, is the fastest method to get an O&G position. These are intended to provide HR and recruiters with a pool of qualified workers who are ready to work in the oil field. Keep in mind that many of these are costly, and you must weigh the debt-to-benefit ratio. The training are usually only useful if you already have recruiting partners in place.
Also, don’t forget about the bare minimums. As a general rule, prospective workers must have a valid driver’s license. They also need you to pass a drug test and a physical examination, which, although not military-style, may be difficult.
The Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get Into’ Oil and Gas resources, as well as OPITO, the skills organization, are good places to go for information on certificates.
Attend a University or College
Consider returning to school to get an industry-recognized educational credential.
The level at which you join makes a difference if you start with an industry-relevant educational degree. Most individuals who begin an entry-level employment with the intention of working their way up the corporate ladder quickly find that this is difficult.
We spoke about industry credentials, but have you considered returning to school or getting formal training? Some courses may be completed online or while working. If you’d like to learn more about this, please fill out the form below:
A little knowledge may go a long way.
You can get a sense of the industry by gaining some experience. Most large oil and gas companies (such as Chevron, Shell, and Total) offer taster programs to give individuals a taste of what it’s like to work in the industry.
A month of industry work experience or an internship is an excellent method to establish connections and relationships. Keep in mind that big businesses have a lot of job vacancies, and there’s no alternative for demonstrating your value on the job. Apprenticeships have also grown in popularity.
Problem-solving, creativity, analytical skills, organization, self-motivation, and flexibility are among the required talents and personality characteristics included in typical O&G job advertisements.
Just keep in mind that you need to pitch yourself to the company – tweak your CV, network at industry events, and broaden your market expertise. Your ideal career in oil and gas is closer than you think.