Our civilization was built on fossil fuels. Although they have been reliable sources of energy for many centuries, that doesn’t make them perfect. Our dependence on oil and gas has many drawbacks.
One, these fossil fuels are extremely harmful to the environment. Exploiting oil for its production can lead to habitat loss and pollution while burning fossil fuels can release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The oil and gas industry is known for being unstable. Companies can find it hard to plan for the future because of fluctuations in commodity prices.
Many people still choose to work in the oil and natural gas industry, despite all these disadvantages. It can be very lucrative. This sector can be very lucrative if you have the right skills.
There’s also the flip side to the coin. Will there be enough jobs for you in the future? Although oil is used in nearly everything, we are trying to eliminate fossil fuels as hard as possible. The industry may not be as appealing in the next few decades.
This article will discuss the pros and cons of getting involved in the oil and gas industry. While we will try to be objective, it is important to remember that oil and gas are highly regulated. Things could change at any moment.
Why work in the Oil & Gas Industry
Let’s begin with the classic question. Why would you bother with an industry that will likely shrink massively in the future and which is already hated? It’s not the best industry, even though it has a bright future. It is dirty work.
It’s hard work and exhausting. You will be away from your home for months and may work in remote areas. Even if you don’t experience anything unusual, you will be breathing in harmful chemicals every day.
It is a good idea, so why not? Here are some reasons.
This Industry’s Pros
Here are the top pros and cons of working in the oil-and-gas industry.
- The money – It’s not a secret that oil and natural gas companies are very profitable. Their employees often get a share of their profits. This industry is worth looking into if you are searching for a well-paying job. This is another reason why jobs in this industry are so attractive. The demand is greater than the offer. Because the work is often dangerous and difficult, it can lead to this.
- Skills: You can apply the skills you have gained in the oil-and-gas industry to other industries. If you are a geologist, for example, your skills could be transferred to mining. You could also work as an engineer in construction or manufacturing. You will find that the skills you acquire in this industry can be very valuable and help you move into other industries.
- The adventure – If you are looking for a challenging career, oil and natural gas is the right choice. This is a fast-paced field with many opportunities to travel. You will likely travel all over the country. You might find yourself working on rigs around the globe.
- The opportunities – The oil and gas industry changes constantly. There are many opportunities to grow your career. You can quickly rise through the ranks if you are willing to work hard.
These industries are not the right career path for everyone. Before making a decision, it is important to weigh all the factors. We’ll be looking at the downsides to working in this area in the next section.
These are the cons of working in this industry
Working in the oil and gas industry has its pros. These aren’t worth the effort for most people. This is why the field is so full of workers. These are the main drawbacks:
- Instability – As we have already mentioned, oil and gas production is notoriously unstable. Companies may find it difficult to plan for the future as prices for these commodities change constantly. This instability can lead to job loss. Oil and gas companies often lay off workers when prices fall. This can result in you losing your job quickly, and it can be difficult to find work if you don’t have the right connections.
- The work is challenging You’ll likely be working long hours under difficult and dangerous conditions. It can be difficult to adapt to this type of work if you aren’t used to it. You’ll also be away from your home for months, which can hurt your personal life.
- Health hazards Another downside to working in this industry is the health risks. Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
- Unfriendly The oil and gas industry does not have a lot of environmental responsibilities. This industry might not be right for you if you are concerned about climate change. This is because you will directly contribute to the problem by working in this industry. You can also be fired by the government for signing a piece of paper. This is not a good prospect.
There you have it. These are the pros and cons of working in the oil-and-gas industry. Before making any career decisions, it is important to consider all these factors.
Editor’s note: we have already published papers on how the oil and gas industry should restructure to be competitive in 2010. These challenges will likely increase exponentially with the new regulations and elimination of subsidies. As we decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, it will likely be more difficult to maintain a job within the industry. This is a crucial point if you are looking for a career that will last.
Oil & Gas Industry Jobs
There are many types of jobs available in the oil-and-gas industry. Some jobs will require special training and higher education, while others won’t.
You could begin your career as a roustabout if you have no experience or education in the oil-and-gas industry. Roustabouts perform manual labor tasks such as moving equipment and cleaning up after it.
It’s an entry-level position but it’s very lucrative. The average yearly salary for roustabouts in the United States is $44,730. It beats working for Mcdonald’s at minimum wage.
Rotary Drill Operator
This is also known as “roughneck” and it is one of the most common entry-level positions in the oil & gas industry. You’ll be operating the machinery that drills oil and gas wells as a rotary drill operator.
This job has the advantage of being able to relocate easily, even if your drilling site is closed by the government. You can even change your field. In reality, the majority of rotary drill operators work within the mining industry and not in the oil & gasoline one. As a rotary drill operator, you will never lose your job. A rotary drill operator working in the mining sector earns an average of $5 per hour less than a worker in the oil and gas industry. This discrepancy results in an almost $10,000 difference in annual salary.
Geologists are people who study the earth’s surface. They search for areas rich in oil and minerals and help plan where drilling should occur. You will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be interested in this position.
As a geologist, your daily job will include field work (i.e. Visiting drilling sites, and office work (i.e. Analyzing data, and writing reports.
Geologists make an average salary of $83,860 annually, making them one of the most highly-paid jobs in the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find accurate salary data. In its calculations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics takes into account all types of geologists. The true number is likely lower.
Petroleum engineers are required if you want to make big money. Petroleum engineers design plans to extract oil and gas from deep beneath the earth’s surface. These engineers also discover new ways to extract these resources and ways to improve existing methods.
This position will be responsible for many important tasks, including creating computer models that can help determine the best way to extract oil or gas, supervising drilling operations, and testing equipment.
The average salary for a petroleum engineering engineer is $130.850 per annum. The highest-paid petroleum engineers earn more than $186,000 annually. Don’t be fooled by the numerous regulations governing climate change. Even if we go fully electric, we will still be able to extract petroleum. This is because oil and gas are used for more than just powering cars.
Petroleum Pump System Operator
You will be operating and maintaining equipment that pumps oil from wells. It is an important job that helps ensure smooth operation.
The Future of the Oil & Gas Industry
It sounds risky to get into the oil and gas industry. We care about the climate more now than ever before. This means that the oil and gas industry is on the decline. Slowly, we are moving away from fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources.
Is it worth it to invest now, with all the uncertainty surrounding the future of the industry? It depends.
The oil and gas industry is a great choice if you are looking for a high-paying job with good job security. For example, rotary drill operator or petroleum engineer jobs are highly in demand. Even if the industry is declining, they will still be needed. It is possible to switch fields from oil and gas to mining. We won’t stop mining the earth to find resources.
If you are looking for a job that will pay the bills and make you money, this is another reason to get into the industry. If you are fresh out of college and looking for a job to pay off student loans, the oil and gas industry might be worth your consideration. It’s not stable and you will need to plan what you want to do next.
If you are looking for a well-paying job and good security, the oil and gas industry is a great option. It’s not a stable sector so you might consider other industries if you are looking for a career with long-term stability. Although the future of oil and gas is uncertain, it will continue to play an important role in our lives as we shift towards renewable energy sources. The demand for workers at that point will likely be too low to justify entry into the industry.
Only you can decide whether the oil and gas industry is right for you. Think about your career goals and your career aspirations. If you feel the oil and gas industry aligns with your goals, go for it! Be aware of the potential risks and have a backup plan.