One of the more interesting and rewarding careers is to work in the oil industry. Energy companies are always in need of high quality workers, from experienced engineers and scientists to tough labor roughnecks and roustabouts. Depending on the direction you want to go there are a few tips you should consider to help get started in the oil industry. While the hours are long and the work can be grueling a career in the oil business has its benefits too including good pay and adventurous work.
The energy industry spans a wide variety of skill levels, from entry level leasehand jobs on a land based oil rig to top level consultants and commodity traders. Working in oilfields can require a 4-year Master's degree or a high school education and experience working in construction. The chances for promotion are abundant and as with most businesses it's getting in the door that is the hard part. Once you've decided to make a career for yourself in the oil business consider what your skills are and how best those skills can be used on an oil rig.
If you have the ambition to work as a consultant, engineer or scientist who analyzes ecosystems and alternative energy sources it will require heavy education and most likely a graduate degree. Engineers and scientists that work for the oil industry need to have a minimum 4-year undergraduate degree and at least some graduate level course or lab work. Many high-paying jobs in the energy business include marine biologists, chemical engineers and petroleum engineers who are responsible for the safety of existing resources and the development of new equipment, research methods and new oilfield discoveries.
If you lack the money to pursue a Master's degree or would rather do manual labor on oil rigs, there are still plenty of opportunities for high-paying jobs in the oil industry. If you are good with tools and machinery, have experience working in construction and don't mind long hours in difficult weather conditions there are several entry-level oil jobs that will get you started on a career in energy. Oil roughnecks, roustabouts, leasehands and floor hand jobs are always available as people performing those tasks are promoted up the oil rig hierarchy. Often involving fixing and maintaining equipment, hauling heavy loads, driving trucks and keeping oil platforms clean these entry-level oil jobs can pay pretty well for a starter job and when factoring in inevitable overtime a typical roughneck or roustabout can earn close to $60,000 in wages per year.
One thing to keep in mind when starting on a career in gas, energy or oil is that the work can be very hard, the hours long and locations in remote parts of the world that can keep you away from family and friends for months at a time. Rigs are no place for a 9-5 office worker and can often be hazardous structures especially when weather is bad. But if you really want a career in oil the jobs are available.