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Top 10 tips to get in to oil and gas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

It is being constantly said that the oil and gas business is the place to be right now and in the future. Whether you are an engineering, welder, field or office worker; the energy industry offers a vast array of opportunities across the job spectrum. The industry is at a crossroads, so it is a most exciting time for those wanting to move in to it. Also, seasoned workers are retiring but new and challenging exploration projects are coming online in order to meet ever growing demand and these two opposing forces are creating gaps in the skills and talent pool, which is leading to a recruitment boom.

10 tips to get in to oil and gas

Don’t be daunted

Regardless of current job, background or previous work history there are many jobs available in the oil and gas sector. 44% of respondents to the recent ‘Attracting and attaining women in oil and gas engineering – a survey examining the gender talent gap,’ said that they had worked in different industries such as building and construction and even law and retail before making the move. No matter what background, the oil and gas industry is welcoming people with the necessary skills and willingness to learn.

Discover your interest

Working in the oil and gas sector does not always mean working on a rig offshore. As the lifecycle of a project moves from concept to decommissioning, many different skills sets are needed. A career advisor will be able to advise on the correct direction to take, or research roles online. It’s surprising how varied the jobs available in the sector are.

Gain experience

Work experience and apprenticeships allow one to get a feel for the industry and most major operators run schemes designed to give people a taster of what working in the sector is like. However, these are highly competitive. In the UK, oil and gas skills organisation OPTIO recently launched a new structured work placement programme which gives school pupils in Aberdeen access to some of the largest oil and gas industry operators and service companies.

Study, study, study

The importance of studying STEM subjects and obtaining an undergraduate degree in engineering cannot be overstated. But, if STEM subjects are not on the résumé, there are schemes like the Prince’s Trust Get Into Oil and Gas that can give the advice and training needed to make the transition in to the oil and gas sector.

Get a mentor

Mentoring is an important in all careers in the sector and will help navigate a new employee around the industry. Groups such as the STEMettes and UK young scientists fair can help display the rewarding opportunities available in engineering, whilst in the US, groups such as the STEM Education Coalition do the same.

Do your research

Find out which disciplines are in highest demand, the best companies to work for and the regions that are experiencing particular growth. A number of new discoveries are being made in more testing environments, which are requiring advanced technology and skills.

Know the pros

With a wealth of opportunities for global travel and no end of challenges, working in oil and gas allows someone to see the world and truly stimulate the mind. If however it’s discipline that is more suitable then there are plenty of options there too. There is also the flexibility in the industry of working on temporary and permanent contracts, benefits and high earning potential.

And the cons

It is important to recognise the potential challenges associated with a career in oil and gas such as being away from loved ones for long hours, tight deadlines and the need for flexibility to accommodate project demands. In order to get a foot in the oil and gas door and gain the experience required to progress, the ladder needs to be climbed. However, in return for hard work the reward is a long term and exciting career.

Sell yourself

Brush up the CV. Ideally it needs to be tailored to a specific application and kept concise and focused on key points. Contact details, all relevant skills and experience, as well as employment and education history needs to be included in reverse order also. Once the CV is on top form networking is the next step. Being popular on networks such as LinkedIn can help as well as following relevant industry news and influencers. This will help improve market knowledge as well as attending industry events.

Talk to the experts

Oil and gas manpower specialists like NES Global Talent have much experience in placing the right person in the right oil and gas sector job. A range of support can also be provided to cover everything from payroll to fiscal compliance and insurance which will hopefully minimise any concerns someone new to the oil and gas sector may have.

Written by Simon Coton, Managing Director, NES Global Talent. 

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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