Want to begin a career journey in the oil and gas industry? There is always a “how to” for every career path, and this post is aimed at sharing some insights on how to begin a career journey in the oil and gas sector.
It is important to know that starting a career in this industry means you are competing with millions of existing and potential workers in the industry. Thus, as much as it is financially rewarding, the competition is real which means that you must be at the top of your game always.
Do not be bothered about your education background not being in the oil and gas related field. While it is great to have relevant education background and professional experience, there are other great opportunities in the sector which does come with such requirement. Oil and gas jobs aren’t all about spending months at a time on a rig. In fact, just 6% of roles are based offshore, and there are lots of variety as well as opportunities for travel.
The oil and gas industry are comprised of three major sectors, each categorized according to the specific operations that take place in the process of getting oil from the earth to the consumer.
- UpStream Oil and Gas Sector
The upstream sector of the oil and gas deals with the first step of the process: getting oil and gas out of the ground. Companies involved in upstream operations search for underground or underwater oil fields, drill exploratory wells and oversee operations to redirect crude oil to the surface.
2. MidStream Oil and Gas Sector
Midstream activities include the processing, storing, transporting and marketing of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.
3. DownStream Oil and Gas Sector
Downstream operations are the processes involved in converting oil and gas into the finished product. These include refining crude oil into gasoline, natural gas liquids, and a variety of other energy sources. The closer an oil and gas company is to the process of providing consumers with petroleum products, the further downstream the company is said to be.
In order to work in either of the above mentioned sectors, you must consider career paths such as; Drilling engineer, Energy engineer, Engineering geologist, Geochemist, Geoscientist, Hydrographic surveyor, Mining engineer, Mudlogger, Petroleum engineer and Wellsite geologist. Others may include non-technical career/role such as receptionists, personal assistance, communications, corporate social responsibility (CSR), health and safety, human resources, etc.
Skills and qualifications for oil and gas jobs
Skills and qualification required to work in the oil and gas industry varies based on which sector or role you would want to play in. These are decisions to be made as early as when you are in secondary school, before university. Nevertheless, for current undergraduate or graduates, there are still ways to find yourself in the industry as we earlier mentioned. Once you have identified a role, you may want to consider an internship with an oil and gas firm or apply through the graduate trainee programme offered by one of the larger employers. For example, Shell’s graduate programme allows you to choose technical, commercial business or corporate function pathways.
You will need to have, or be expecting, a good degree from a recognized university to gain entry to a scheme. Depending on your area of specialisation, there may be specific requirements in terms of your degree subject – particularly for engineering and science programmes.
Also, you need to take relevant certification and, in some cases, belong to a professional membership association which validates you as a qualified practitioner. STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) qualifications are great to start your journey in the sector. Qualification in mathematics, physics, geology and engineering are all relevant to jobs in the industry and offer a wide range of options from full degree to specialist qualification.
How to Apply
- Start by building your network
- Build a compelling CV/resume
- Have a professional presence online – LinkedIn is a good platform
- Search online for relevant vacant positions
- Write a cover letter based on vacant position
- Apply for the role
- Prepare for interview.
Finally, especially for those who are currently in University, endeavor to build relevant experiences by volunteering in projects related to your field of aspiration. Industrial training (IT) is also a good way to find your feet in the oil and gas industry.
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