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Securing jobs in oil and gas: a recruiter’s guide


Securing jobs in the oil and gas industry is not just about luck. It’s about understanding and leveraging the right skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of this dynamic sector.

This guide, made by our expert energy recruiters, will help you do just that.

It will explore the competitive salaries, robust job security, and abundant opportunities for career advancement that make the oil and gas industry so attractive to job seekers. Also covered will be the ways in which job seekers can tailor their job search and applications to help them stand out from the crowd and secure the best jobs in oil and gas.

Why work in oil and gas?

The oil and gas industry holds a certain allure for job seekers due to several factors.

One of the most significant is the competitive salaries offered by the industry. These salaries are often higher than those in other sectors, making oil and gas jobs highly sought after.

The industry also provides a level of job security that is not always found in other sectors. This is due to the constant demand for oil and gas, which ensures a steady stream of jobs.

Furthermore, the industry offers numerous opportunities for career advancement. With a wide range of roles available, from entry-level positions to senior management roles, there is potential for significant career progression.

Why do jobs in oil and gas pay so well?

The oil and gas industry is renowned for its high salaries, a characteristic that can largely be attributed to the profitability of the sector. Substantial revenues enable companies to offer competitive salaries that not only attract the best talent, but also help to retain them. This investment in human capital is a testament to the industry’s recognition of the critical role its workforce plays in its success.

Another factor is that much of this work is conducted offshore in remote areas of the world, taking workers far from home for long periods of time. Oil and gas employers offer premium salaries to attract workers into the industry.

The nature of the work itself also plays a significant role. The physically demanding and potentially hazardous conditions that arise from jobs in oil and gas are typically offset by higher pay. This reflects the industry’s commitment to compensating its workforce fairly for the risks they undertake.

Moreover, the industry is a hub for highly specialised skills and expertise. The complex processes involved in extracting and processing oil and gas require a workforce with a high level of technical knowledge and proficiency.


Understanding the oil and gas job market

The oil and gas industry is a vibrant and multifaceted arena, teeming with a wide variety of roles that cater to an extensive range of skills, qualifications, and interests. Within this powerhouse of opportunities, each role contributes significantly to the global energy supply chain.

Jobs in oil and gas span from geoscientists and engineers, who explore and extract valuable resources beneath the earth’s surface, to operators and process engineers working in refineries. There are also logistics and supply chain professionals, who distribute these resources across the world.

Technical jobs at the heart of the oil and gas industry, though crucial, are not the only roles available in this sector.

There is an abundance of jobs in oil and gas that support ordinary business functions, such as human resources, finance, sales and marketing, business development and information technology. These are essential for the smooth operation and growth of any oil and gas company.

Securing the right oil and gas job requires candidates to identify their skills and interests and where they can be best applied to maximise their potential for career growth. With the industry’s continuous evolution driven by technological advancements, and the growing emphasis on sustainable practices, jobs in oil and gas remain dynamic and an open space for career exploration.

What are the best jobs in oil and gas?

The best jobs in the oil and gas industry often depend on an individual’s skills, interests, and career goals. However, some roles are particularly sought-after due to their high demand, competitive salaries, and potential for career advancement.

These include roles such as field service technicians, electricians, engineers, energy analysts, ecologists, sales representatives, and project managers.

To find out more about the wide range of jobs in oil and gas, the areas that offer the best salaries and their career growth potential, check out our recent blog: Top energy sector jobs to kickstart your career.


Types of employment in oil and gas

Jobs in oil and gas are not limited to the traditional employee/employer relationship. The nature of work in the oil and gas industry offers workers flexibility to operate as both contractors and consultants depending on their level of expertise, their role within the sector and their desire for independent, flexible working arrangements. This can have an impact on their relationships with the companies they work for, the benefits they receive, job security and other differing factors.

Contractors are typically hired for specific projects or for a set period. They bring specialised skills to the table and are often used to supplement a company’s workforce during periods of high demand, or for special projects.

Oil and gas contractors have a degree of flexibility that employees often don’t. They can choose which contracts to take on, negotiate their rates, and may have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in different locations. This can lead to a diverse and exciting career with the opportunity to gain a wide range of experiences. However, contractors may also face periods of uncertainty between contracts and typically need to manage their own taxes and benefits.

Employees, on the other hand, have a more stable and long-term relationship with the company. They receive a regular salary and benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, and retirement contributions. Employees often have a clear career progression path within the company and may have more opportunities for training and development. However, they may have less flexibility and autonomy than contractors.

Consultants are another key part of the oil and gas industry. These individuals are experts in their field and are typically hired to provide strategic advice or to solve specific problems. Like contractors, consultants have a high degree of flexibility and can choose which projects to work on. They often work on a project-by-project basis, providing their expertise to help companies make informed decisions or improve their operations.

While consultants can command high fees for their services, they also need to continuously update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant in the fast-paced oil and gas industry.

In the oil and gas industry, contractors, employees and consultants are essential. Understanding the differences between these roles can help individuals make informed decisions about the type of jobs in oil and gas that best suits their career goals and personal circumstances.

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How to get a job in the oil and gas industry

If the perfect role in the oil and gas industry has been eluding you, it’s worth reflecting on your approach and perhaps switching up your job-seeking tactics. Our recruitment specialists have put together some insights and strategies to help prospective job seekers carve out a niche for themselves in the competitive oil and gas job market:

  1. Understanding the industry

Knowledge is power. Understanding the oil and gas industry, its trends, challenges, and opportunities can give you an edge. Stay informed about the latest jobs in oil and gas, the way that technology and environmental regulations are changing the landscape of the industry, and the kind of roles in demand. This will help you make informed decisions, and demonstrate your passion and commitment to potential employers.

  1. Tailoring your application

Every job and every company is unique. Tailoring your CV and cover letter to each specific job application can significantly increase your chances of success. Highlight the skills, experiences, and qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs in oil and gas you’re applying for.

  1. Building a strong online presence

In today’s digital world, your online presence can be just as important as your CV. Platforms like LinkedIn can be incredibly powerful tools for networking and showcasing your skills and experiences. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and professional.

  1. Leveraging recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies, particularly those specialising in jobs in oil and gas, can be invaluable allies in your job search. They have extensive industry knowledge and connections and can help match you with exclusive job opportunities that fit your career goals.

  1. Continuous learning and development

The oil and gas industry is constantly evolving. Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is crucial. Consider investing in additional training or certifications that can enhance your employability and help you stay ahead of the competition.

  1. Networking

Never underestimate the power of a strong professional network. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with industry professionals. Networking can open doors to opportunities that you may not find through traditional job search channels.

Remember, securing jobs in the oil and gas industry is not just about having the right skills and qualifications—it’s also about understanding the landscape, knowing where the best opportunities lie, and being able to effectively market yourself to potential employers.


How to prepare for a job in the oil and gas industry

Securing jobs in oil and gas is a journey that begins long before the interview. Proper preparation can set successful candidates apart. Here are some strategies to help you prepare for a career in the oil and gas industry:

  1. Industry knowledge

The oil and gas industry is complex and ever-changing. Staying informed about industry trends, technologies, and challenges is crucial. This knowledge will not only help you make informed career decisions but also demonstrates your passion and interest in the sector.

  1. Skills and qualifications

The oil and gas industry requires a range of technical and soft skills. Depending on the role, you may need a specific university degree, or other qualifications and certifications. It’s important to understand the requirements of your desired role and take steps to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications. Speaking with a recruiter can help you better understand these requirements.

  1. Experience

While not always mandatory, experience in the industry can be a significant advantage. This could be through internships, oil and gas apprenticeships, or relevant roles in other industries. Experience can provide practical skills and insights that are highly valued by employers.

  1. Preparation for interviews

When you land an interview, preparation is key. Research the company, understand the role, and prepare to demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you the ideal candidate. Practice common interview questions and prepare questions to ask the interviewer.

The journey to securing a job in oil and gas is much like drilling for oil itself—it requires the right tools (skills and qualifications), a comprehensive understanding of the landscape (industry knowledge), and the readiness to seize opportunities when they arise. Just as the thrill of striking oil makes the effort worthwhile, the rewards of a career in this dynamic industry make the preparation a valuable investment.

Is a career in oil and gas worth it?

When considering a career in oil and gas, it’s important to look at long-term career prospects and benefits. The industry offers competitive salaries, job security, and opportunities for career advancement. With a wide range of roles and specialisations available, professionals in the field can continually learn, grow, and advance in their careers both horizontally across specifications and vertically by climbing the corporate ladder.

Moreover, the oil and gas industry plays a crucial role in the global economy. Despite fluctuations in oil prices and the rise of renewable energy sources, the demand for oil and gas remains high. This demand, coupled with the industry’s ongoing need for skilled professionals, contributes to the sector’s job security.

In conclusion, a career in oil and gas can be rewarding and worth it for those who are interested in the field, have the necessary skills, and are willing to keep up with the industry’s fast-paced and dynamic nature.


How energy resourcing can support candidates

In the competitive landscape of oil and gas, recruitment agencies like ours play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between job seekers and employers. We have developed an extensive global presence, with teams that have the expertise and connections to match talent with opportunities across regions and sectors.

Our recruiters are valuable allies for individuals seeking jobs in oil and gas. They provide access to a wide range of job opportunities, many of which may not be advertised publicly. They also offer advice on how to tailor CVs and cover letters to stand out to potential employers in the oil and gas industry.

We understand the specific skills and qualifications demanded by the oil and gas industry and provide guidance to candidates on the types of roles that might be a good fit based on their skills, experiences, and career goals.

Our recruiters are more than just a link between job seekers and employers. They are partners in the job search process, providing the support, guidance, and opportunities needed to help job seekers secure rewarding jobs in oil and gas. If you’re looking for support in your job search, connect with a recruiter today and start your career journey the right way!

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