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Pennsylvania job boom is still going strong

Low oil and natural gas prices have hit the industry hard, especially when it comes to jobs.  Several companies have laid off thousands of employees in order to cut back spending.  However, in one area of the U.S. the job market still seems to be booming, and finding work isn’t an issue.

The state of Pennsylvania seems to be going through a job increase rather than a decrease, and Randy Stroup of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is living proof of it, reports NPR in a recent interview.

Recently, Stroup completed the ShaleNet Training Program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.  The program combines classroom time with hands on experience on a mock drilling rig.  Now searching for work, Stroup says he has a positive outlook when it comes to the natural gas business that is occurring in the Marcellus Shale formation located in Pennsylvania:

There is a great abundance of natural gas in the area … and the country needs cheap and efficient, clean-burning fuels like natural gas.

Currently, more than 100 students have finished the roustabout training and 98 percent of them were able to acquire jobs immediately.  Most of the jobs the students were able to get have an average pay of $16.15 per hour.  According to Tracy Brundage, vice president for Workforce Development at Pennsylvania College of Technology, it is very common that if one is putting in several hours of overtime that a roustabout will earn up to $70,000 to $80,000 per year.  Other universities across the U.S. are also offering programs related to the energy industry.  The following list of schools that offer such classes and programs was put together by Breaking Energy:

-Colorado School of Mines

-University of Colorado – Boulder

-Georgia Tech

-Louisiana State University

-Marietta College

-Michigan State

-MIT

-Montana Tech

-Penn State

-Texas A&M

-Texas Tech

-University of Houston

-University of Texas – Austin

Along with teaching students how to be a roustabout, the college also offers other skills that are important to the oil and gas industry, including welding and diesel engine repair.  Currently, William Miller, 18, is learning all about repairing the diesel powered generators that are used by drillers. Miller, who plans on graduating from his program in a few years, is confident that he will have no trouble at all finding work.

The reasoning behind Pennsylvania’s job boom is a little thing called “the great crew change.”  As the industry explains it, after the oil boom in the 1980’s, several companies stopped hiring workers which left the industry with an aging workforce that is now vanishing.  As reported by Reuters, during 2013, Schlumberger, the largest oil and gas company in the U.S., predicted that the industry would be short about 15,000 petroleum engineers and geoscientists by 2016.  The company also predicted that the industry would need to hire 10,000 new petro-technical professionals each year through 2020 in order to make up for the loss of workers and handle the needs of the industry’s growth.  According Brundage, the best way to avoid a problem like the one the industry is going through now is to continue hiring the younger generations and train people to fill positions that will eventually be open.

Since the natural gas industry arrived in Pennsylvania, the number of well-paying jobs has increased immensely.  The most recent figures show that more than 31,000 people in Pennsylvania have jobs that are related to the natural gas industry. Even though the industry as a whole has slowed down, thanks to low energy prices, job growth as a whole for the state continues to grow.

34 comments

  1. Yeah. Everyone is laying off in PA right now. Just like the rest of the country.

  2. Definitely not booming in pa. Lots of lay offs

  3. Must have gotten up the right side of the bed and drank that half full glass of coffee…

  4. College educated roughnecks = puff necks

  5. Might wanna add Ohio to the list…

  6. Lmao ya this info is incorrect!!!! Layoffs already happened an are still happening

  7. If that’s the case then why are there Frac crews from Pennsylvania working in Oklahoma

  8. Wrong. All kinds of people laid off from work in Pa.

  9. Dont kid yourself, theres a ton of layoffs there too

  10. You see kids, this is what happens when Chair-Borne Rangers report without ever leaving the office. …..

  11. Yeah even the companies that are busy aren’t hiring just importing guys from slower divisions

  12. What happy pills did you take this morning…ton of layoffs goin on right now

  13. One of the sources for this article was a story by NPR covering the job market in Pennsylvania regarding all jobs, not just gas and oil jobs. It also focused on the success of college programs put together by Breaking Energy of finding recent graduates jobs. Although there have been several job cuts in the O&G industry, many experts are predicting a need for industry jobs in the near future in regards to “the great crew change.” We apologize for any misunderstandings.

  14. The oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania has been hit just as hard as the rest of the country. Things look extremely bleak.

  15. Then please explain why I’m in texas and not my home state

  16. Why does the guys wearing the orange hard hat have on cammo on his face lol

  17. Josh Wilson, lies! Lies I tell you!

  18. This is not true… my husband was working up there. It has slowed down!!! Hint word I used “WAS” !!! The oilfield is struggling everywhere in America!

  19. That’s why I’m stuck in NM with “big red” as a mud engineer and haven’t had a job to go out on since January 30th…tried to transfer back home to PA but that was wishful thinking…guess I’m lucky I haven’t got laid off yet but the bare minimum salary isn’t cutting it anymore.

  20. In this Industry when the price of oil and gas drop u all act like u are surprised

  21. It’s the way the cookies crumble suck It up butter cup American made and proud of it

  22. Social media just stirring the pot, so others MAY think it’s booming, when actually its almost at “2008”. Point……the people who posted this trying to con people in booming states to move where there’s no boom…..jus a thought

    • StevieGeneva – we can assure you that this article was posted solely to educate and inform our readers about the issues and trends occurring within the industry. We have no motivation other than that.

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