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Is Oil & Gas Production a Good Career Path (The Pros and Cons of a Lucrative Career Path)

We built our civilization on fossil fuels usage. They’ve been a reliable source of energy for hundreds of years, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Actually, there are a lot of downsides to our reliance on oil and gas.

For one, the production of those fossil fuels is incredibly damaging to the environment. The method of drilling for oil may cause pollution and habitat loss, while the burning of fossil fuels releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

What’s more, the oil and gas industry is notoriously unstable. Prices for these commodities can fluctuate wildly, and that may make it difficult for companies to plan for the long run.

Despite all of those drawbacks, there are still many individuals who decide to pursue careers within the oil and gas industry. The reality is, it may be a really lucrative field. If you might have the proper skills and experience, you may make quite a bit of cash working on this sector.

But there’s the opposite side of the coin: will there be enough jobs in the long run for you? We’re attempting to phase out fossil fuels hard (though oil is utilized in almost everything we use), so the industry won’t have the identical appeal in just a few decades.

In this text, you’ll study the professionals and cons of moving into the oil and gas industry. We’ll be as objective as possible, but know that it’s such a heavily regulated industry that things could completely change any day.

Why Work within the Oil & Gas Industry?

Let’s start with probably the most classic question. Why bother with an industry that’s more likely to masively shrink in the long run, and that’s already an enormous object of hate? Plus, even when it still had a bright future, it’s not exactly the perfect field. It’s dirty work.

The hours are long, and engaged on oil rigs isn’t exactly fun. You’ll spend months away from home, and also you’ll be working in a few of probably the most remote (and dangerous) places on Earth. Even when nothing weird happens to you, you’ll be inhaling harmful chemicals all day.

So, why do it? Listed here are some reasons.

The Pros of Working on this Industry

Listed here are the primary pros of working within the oil and gas industry:

  • The cash: It’s no secret that oil and gas companies are usually very profitable. They make quite a bit of cash, and that usually trickles right down to their employees. When you’re searching for a high-paying job, this industry is unquestionably worth considering. Another excuse jobs on this field are so lucrative is that few people need to do them. The offer surpasses the demand. This happens since the work is usually difficult, dangerous, and dirty.
  • The talents: The talents you learn working within the oil and gas industry may be applied to other sectors. As an example, for those who’re a geologist, your skills can be transferable to mining. When you’re an engineer, you can work in construction or manufacturing. The purpose is, the abilities you learn on this industry are valuable, and they’ll allow you to get your foot within the door of other industries.
  • The journey: When you’re searching for an exciting career, oil and gas is unquestionably the technique to go. It’s a fast-paced industry with loads of opportunities to travel. Actually, you’ll most certainly travel across the country. You might end up engaged on rigs all around the world.
  • The opportunities: The oil and gas industry is usually changing. Meaning there are many opportunities for career growth. When you’re willing to place within the work, you can stand up through the ranks quickly.

A career in these industries is unquestionably not for everybody. It’s important to weigh the professionals and cons carefully before making a choice. In the following section, we’ll check out a few of the drawbacks of working on this field.

The Cons of Working on this Industry

There are cons to working within the oil & gas field too. Actually, for most individuals, these should not well worth the effort, which is why there’s a shortage of workers in the sphere. Listed here are the primary cons:

  • Instability: As we mentioned before, oil and gas production is notoriously unstable. Prices for these commodities fluctuate constantly, which might make it difficult for companies to plan for the long run. This instability often results in job losses. When prices drop, the very first thing oil and gas companies do is lay off workers. This may leave you and not using a job suddenly, and it may be very difficult to search out work on this industry for those who don’t have connections.
  • Challenging work: The work itself could be very challenging. As we mentioned, you’ll be working long hours in difficult and dangerous conditions. When you’re not used to this sort of work, it may be tough to regulate. Also, you’ll be spending months away from home, which might be tough in your personal life.
  • Health hazards: Another big downside of working on this industry is the health hazards. You’ll be exposed to harmful chemicals, and you can suffer from respiratory problems or other health issues consequently.
  • Environmentally unfriendly: The oil and gas industry is just not very environmentally friendly. When you’re concerned about climate change, this won’t be the proper industry for you. In spite of everything, you’ll be directly contributing to the issue if you’re employed on this field. Additionally, governments can put you out of labor by signing a chunk of paper. Hardly a desirable prospect.

So, there you might have it. These are a few of the professionals and cons of working within the oil and gas industry. It’s important to carefully consider all of those factors before making a choice about your career.

Editor’s note: we already had papers about how the oil & gas industry should restructure itself to stay competitive in 2010. Now, with the incoming extra regulations and removal of subsidies, it’s likely these challenges will grow exponentially. It’s likely that it’ll become progressively harder to maintain a job within the industry, as we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. That is crucial for those who’re searching for a long-term career path.

Let’s say you think that that is the proper career path for you, what sort of jobs could you do? And the way do you really get in?

Jobs within the Oil & Gas Industry

There are just a few different kinds of jobs within the oil and gas industry. A few of these would require higher education and/or special training, while others won’t.


When you don’t have any experience or education within the oil and gas industry, you can start out as a roustabout. Roustabouts do a number of manual labor tasks, reminiscent of cleaning and maintaining equipment, moving supplies, and assisting other workers.

You’ll basically be the grunt, of the operation, but this can be a good technique to get your foot within the door. And, for those who prove yourself to be a tough worker, you can be promoted to a better position.

Despite being an entry position, it’s still quite lucrative all things considered. The median yearly salary for roustabouts is $44,730. Beats working at McDonalds for minimum wage.

Rotary Drill Operator

Also referred to as a “roughneck,” that is one in all the commonest entry-level jobs within the oil and gas industry. As a rotary drill operator, you’ll be answerable for operating the equipment that drills the holes for oil and gas wells.

The beauty of this job is that, even when, say, the federal government shuts down your drilling site, you may easily be relocated in a unique place. Or change field completely. Actually, most rotary drill operators work within the mining industry, not the oil & gas one. You’ll never be out of a job as a rotary drill operator. However, a rotary drill operator within the mining industry earns on average $5 less per hour in comparison with the identical worker within the oil & gas field. This discrepancy causes a difference of virtually $10,000 in yearly salary.


A geologist is someone who studies the earth’s surface. They appear for areas which can be rich in minerals and oil, and they assist to plan where drilling should happen. When you’re desirous about this job, you’ll have to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in geology.

Your daily work as a geologist within the oil & gas industry will include field work (i.e. visiting drilling sites), paperwork (i.e. analyzing data), and report writing.

The median salary for a geologist is $83,860 per year, making it one of many highest-paying jobs within the oil & gas industry. However, accurate salary data is tough to return by. The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers all kind of geologists in its calculation. So, the true figure might be lower.

However, geologists can easily switch path and work in fields aside from the oil & gas industry. Meaning you may always discover a job, even when the oil & gas industry is in decline.

Petroleum Engineer

If you must make the large bucks, you’ll have to become a petroleum engineer. Petroleum engineers develop plans for extracting oil and gas from deposits deep below the earth’s surface. In addition they find new ways to extract these resources, in addition to ways to enhance current methods.

You’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering to become a petroleum engineer. And, preferably, a master’s degree or higher.

You’ll be answerable for lots of important work, reminiscent of creating computer models to search out the perfect technique to extract oil and gas, overseeing drilling operations, and testing new equipment.

The median salary for a petroleum engineer is $130,850 per year. And the highest earners on this field make over $186,000 per year. And don’t get swayed by all of the climate change regulations. The reality is that we are going to still extract petroleum, even after we manage to go full electric. That’s because we use oil and gas for rather more than simply powering our cars.

Also Read: 8 Highest Paying Engineering Degrees: Secure a Lucrative Career in Engineering

Petroleum Pump System Operator

As a petroleum pump system operator, you’ll be answerable for operating and maintaining the equipment that pumps oil and gas from wells. That is a very important job, because it helps to make sure the graceful running of operations.

You’ll need a minimum of a highschool diploma to become a petroleum pump system operator. And, preferably, some experience working with pumps.

The median salary for a petroleum pump system operator is $80,500 per year.

The Way forward for the Oil & Gas Industry

Moving into the oil & gas industry appears like a raffle. In spite of everything, we care more about climate now than at any point in history. And which means the oil & gas industry is in decline. We’re slowly moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources.

With all of the uncertainty about the industry’s future, is it a good suggestion to get into it now? The reply is, it depends.

When you’re desirous about a job that’s high-paying and has good job security, then the oil & gas industry is an efficient choice. For instance, jobs like rotary drill operator and petroleum engineer are in demand and can probably always be needed, whilst the industry declines. You’ll be able to always switch field, from oil & gas to mining. We won’t ever stop mining the earth for resources.

Another situation through which moving into this industry is smart for those who’re just searching for a short lived job to make some money after which move on. For instance, for those who’re fresh out of faculty and searching for a job that may allow you to repay your student loans, then the oil & gas industry is worth considering. Just know that it’s not a stable industry and that you just’ll have to have a plan for what you must do next.


The oil & gas industry is a superb choice for people who’re searching for a high-paying job with good job security. However, it’s not a stable industry, so for those who’re just searching for a long-term career, it is advisable to consider another industry. The way forward for the oil & gas industry is uncertain, but it is going to probably always play a task in our lives, whilst we move towards renewable energy sources. However, after we reach that time the demand for workers will most certainly be too low to justify moving into the industry.

Only you may decide if moving into the oil & gas industry is the proper choice for you. Consider your goals and what you must achieve in your career. If the oil & gas industry aligns together with your goals, then go for it! Just pay attention to the risks involved and always have a plan B.

Also Read: 10 Most Useless Degrees In 2022 (And What To Do)

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