The oil and gas industry provides three quarters of the UK’s primary energy, and is expected to double in production by 2030. That means an increase in job opportunities with blue-chip organisations such as British Gas, Conoco, Phillips, BP and Shell.
Not only are these professions among the highest starting salaries of any sector, they also continue to stay lucrative as your career progresses. Add to that excellent bonus schemes, great travel opportunities and flexible working arrangements, and you can see how a job in oil and gas could really begin to bring benefits.
The oil and gas sector can be divided into the following key areas:
If you have good maths and technical skills and are able to concentrate for long periods, this could be the career for you. You'll work with metals and alloys, and cut and join composite materials, such as plastics, using specialist welding methods. You'll also need an understanding of safe working practices. Starting salaries range from £16,000 to £19,000.
If you have excellent mathematical and computer skills, and the ability to manage projects, budgets and people, this career could be ideal for you. You would work on gas and oil extraction and producing energy from renewable or sustainable sources, such as hydro, solar, biomass and wind power. Starting salaries range from £20,000 to £30,000.
This role requires good ability in maths, science and IT, excellent problem-solving and practical skills, and the ability to read engineering drawings and circuit diagrams. Your role would involve installing, testing and maintaining electrical systems and equipment. Starting salaries range from £20,000 to £38,000.
Thermal insulation engineers need to have good practical and maths skills, and be able to follow technical plans and drawings. Day-to-day duties could range from planning where to put insulation and, deciding what materials to use, to measuring, cutting and fitting insulation materials. Starting salaries range from £20,000 to £24,000.
To be a mechanical engineer, you'll need good maths, practical and technical skills, and the ability to read engineering drawings. Day-to-day tasks could range from using CAD to draw up plans for new ideas, to investigating and testing ideas to improve existing systems. Starting salaries range from £18,000 to £23,000.
This role requires an ability to follow technical diagrams along with excellent maths, practical and problem-solving skills. You’ll install and weld pipework with day-to-day tasks ranging from working out the best way to do a job based on engineering design plans to making or modifying parts in a workshop. Starting salaries range from £20,000 to £25,000.
This role requires excellent leadership and management skills as well as good skills in communication, planning and IT. Day-to-day duties could include making decisions about where to explore for fuel reserves, managing a technical team and subcontractors, meeting production targets and controlling budgets. Starting salaries range from £35,000 to £40,000.
Roustabouts carry out general labouring tasks and help to keep the drilling area in good working order. Roughnecks carry out more skilled duties as part of the actual drilling operation. Both roles require good practical and team-working skills. As a roustabout you can progress to becoming a roughneck with experience after about 6 months. Starting salaries range from £15,000 to £18,000.
If you have good practical skills, this could be a good career choice. A derrickman works at height under the supervision of the driller and assistant driller. A driller supervises the drilling team and controls the rate of drilling while an assistant driller coordinates the activities on the drill floor. Starting salaries range from £12,000 to £20,000.
For this role, you will need good communication and analytical skills and be able to work well under pressure. A drilling engineer develops, plans, costs, schedules and supervises the operations necessary to the process of drilling oil and gas wells. It is their job to construct a well to get to the oil or gas. Starting salaries range from £35,000 to £40,000.
If you have good analytical and communication skills, and you’re able to make quick and accurate judgements, this could be an ideal career for you. A petroleum engineer is involved at every stage of oilfield evaluation, development and production. Responsibilities range from designing, installing and monitoring operational systems to evaluating reservoir productivity. Starting salaries average £22,000.
This role requires excellent communication and organisational skills and an ability to keep pace with new technology. Process engineers develop industrial processes, which involves designing equipment, installing control systems, and starting, running and upgrading the processes. They also provide technological expertise and advise on process safety issues. Starting salaries average £22,000.
This role requires excellent communication, analytical and decision-making skills along with an ability to work well under pressure. Wellsite geologists study and classify rock cuttings from oil and gas wells in order to determine how drilling should be started and how it should proceed. They also incorporate health and safety requirements in daily operations. Starting salaries average £22,000.
The following career routes are also available:
Find out more about oil and gas careers on the following websites:
Did you know that...
High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2016 report
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