Extended periods of plummeting oil prices have had a noticeable effect on the oil industry, with many oil companies decommissioning multiple rigs during 2015. While the oil industry is no longer being referred to as “booming” by most media outlets, it is not going away completely, and many oilfield jobs are still in demand. As current workers retire and leave the industry, job openings will continue to open up for new applicants and current workers who want to rise up through the ranks. These five oilfield jobs are still in demand in 2016, and will continue to be in demand as long as oil companies continue operating.
Companies in the oil industry rely heavily on good drivers to safely transport, load and unload fuels, equipment and other objects to and from job sites. In almost all cases, applicants must hold a valid class A CDL. Additional endorsements may be required, including Hazardous Materials “H” and Tank Vehicle “N” endorsements.
Field or lease operators are responsible for maintaining and operating oil and gas wells. They may also be required to monitor equipment performance, daily production and sales volumes. They are also responsible for troubleshooting problems with equipment and providing repairs when needed. Operators are essential to everyday production and are almost always in demand, especially when experienced.
- Production Foremen
Production foremen are responsible for overseeing field employees while helping to troubleshoot and solve operational problems. They are also expected to look for various ways to optimize production and oversee all work related to well stimulation, measurement, pumping, downhole diagnostics, artificial lift, rotating equipment and facility work.
As long as oil companies are in business, they will need drillers to safely operate drilling equipment. Drillers must be able to operate a variety of equipment, including tongs, drilling slips, hoists and hand tools. Drillers are responsible for everyday drilling operations, including tripping pipe, casing, cementing and shutting down the rig. Average pay (full-time salary) for a drilling engineer in 2015 was $176,415 according to CNBC.
- Field Technicians
Many workers in the oil industry start as field technicians, then work their way up through the ranks over time. Field technicians are responsible for routine maintenance of heavy equipment as well as fracking vehicles. This often includes updating service records, changing oil and filters, and reporting maintenance issues.
Despite plummeting oil prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that the price of domestic crude oil will slightly rise in 2017 from its 2016 drop and that production growth will accompany rising prices. Reports also show that oil and gas jobs still pay good wages, despite dropping oil prices.