So You Want A Career In The Oil And Gas Industry

For many people, the oil and gas industry conjures up images of impressive looking oil rigs, and people being sent offshore for months to work in isolation. However, it’s a constantly evolving industry, and there are many different jobs available for people who want to work in this field .It’s certainly a rewarding field to work in, with many skilled jobs paying more than the average salary, and lots of different opportunities available for those who are willing to learn. Here are a few of the different kinds of jobs available in the industry, and how you can train for them:


Onshore jobs


Many engineering jobs are based on dry land, but may require site travel, giving you the best of both worlds. The oil and gas industry hires many different engineers with different specialisms, including:

  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Computing
  • Environmental
  • Materials
  • Mining
  • Pipeline

Many people get into engineering with a general undergraduate degree, before taking on work experience and deciding what to do. Some companies will even sponsor you for further studies if you show promise, and will often help you obtain the proper licences to be able to practice.


There are many routes to becoming a control centre operator, and these positions are often onshore, but in remote locations. You must be happy with shift work, and have a practical personality, as there’s a lot of working with tools and machinery involved, as well as dealing with data. If you want this kind of job, a degree is helpful, but not essential, and you can sometimes work your way up from a general labourer role.

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Support workers

As with any business, the oil and gas industries need administrative and management staff, and many of the workers in this area tend to train towards highly specialised careers, such as those on coal seam gas jobs. This means they usually have a good standard of education, and are willing to take on further study in order to work in the industry. Although it’s hard work, it can be an interesting and varied job which pays well when compared to standard office work.


Offshore jobs

Offshore platform
By Chad Teer from Coquitlam, Canada  [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Many people find the idea of offshore work appealing, but it’s important to understand what life is really like on an oil rig, and to decide whether you have the personality to cope with the lifestyle. If you do, it can be rewarding, and there’s a lot of competition for vacancies.

Common jobs on rigs include:

  • Maintenance
  • Crane operators
  • Skilled tradesmen
  • Drill crew
  • Tool pushers
  • Mechanical jobs
  • Catering

The vast majority of jobs will need you to be over 18, and you’ll need to be in good health and pass a physical examination. There are often entry level jobs available, with no experience required, and if you enjoy the work then there is certainly room for progression and to move into better paid positions. This is why vacancies often have many applicants, so it pays to have transferable skills that you can offer, or to have some basic qualifications to help you stay ahead of the crowd.

The oil and gas industries are a great route for those who want to work in engineering, trades, and other specialist areas, and there are many jobs available across the different fields. Certain skills are also highly sought after, meaning that if you have the qualifications, you’ll be offered a competitive salary and will have a greater choice of locations. Why not see if the oil and gas industry, whether on or offshore, is right for you?

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