The other day we had an eager tradesman wander into our office looking to learn about how to break into the oil and gas industry. The first warning of note was that it’s not a good time to jump into the industry because the prices are so low.
This doesn’t mean that it will always be this way and there aren’t things that he could do now to gain an advantage long term such as:
- Building a resume
- Establishing a reputation as a hard worker
- Researching the industry
- Planning for a future career
The first two points make a worker more attractive to prospective companies. Having a strong resume in the construction trades with a good reputation can make you an ideal entry level hire for many companies.
The second two points help to make sure the worker has confidently made the right choice after entering the industry. If a worker hires onto a new oil company and leaves very quickly then he loses out on the opportunity for advances and loyalty bonuses. This does not mean that job hopping is always a poor career move, but it helps if it is planned. It’s also important to plan to move into the right area. When a company develops an oilfield, the money will flow to the field for so long as the field remains a profitable investment. If there are no profitable investments in an area the money will leave, and the work will dry up.
Also, the aspiring oilfield worker must decide what level of work and stress is desired. Hard work and long hours are necessary in every position. Spots on the rigs can be some of the hardest work, while promotions are competitive and take a long time. Service jobs, such as wireline and downhole tools, can have the longest hours with multiple days on site needed for some wells.
Oilfield jobs can be rewarding for the right personality, but patience will always be needed to get success.
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