10 Jul 2014 More

3 Oilfield Jobs in Highest Demand

posted by Brown Books @ 00:00 0 Comments

Image of rig for oilfield jobs
Believe it or not, the US is about to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producing country. This means jobs, and lots of them. When it comes to oilfield jobs, you may be surprised which are the most in demand.

One report shows that by the year 2020, the oil and gas industry will have created as many as 1.3 million new jobs. In fact, it's no secret in financial circles that oil is producing the lion's share of new jobs in the US.

The problem with such high production and high demand seems like it should not be a problem at all: more jobs. But right now there are quite simply more open positions than there are qualified workers. For this reason, salaries in the oil business have never been higher. Come check out the 3 most in demand positions for oilfield workers.

1. Truck Driver

Why are truck drivers so much in demand? "Because everyone needs trucks, from moving rigs and equipment, to hauling oil and water away," says Ryan Lellis, oilfield geologist in the Permian Basin. A truck driver in the oilfield business can make as much as $2500 a week. That's a marked difference between his colleagues in other sectors who on average make $45,000 per year.

But the job is not an easy one. It takes know-how, a can-do attitude, but more than anything it takes patience, and lots of it. You have to be skilled in your profession but you have to be a jack-of-all trades as well.

"You're a mechanic. You're a tire man. You're a load supervisor," says Lonnie Ortiz of LJ Trucking. "You turn out to be lots of things as a truck driver. You're a skilled motorist. You're an electrician. Anything that a job title can be -- you're it."

2. Derrick Hand

A derrick hand's job is to monitor drilling fluid while also maintaining the pumps. He must also guide the drill pipe, unjam jams, and any and all kinds of lifting, pulling, pushing and climbing in-between. In short, if it's dangerous, it's the responsibility of the derrick hand.

The pay is good, though. At an average of $69,000 per year, that means that more experienced derrick hands can make upwards of $80,000-$85,000 per year.

Not only are these jobs high in demand because of new rigs, older rigs that are set for retirement mean a high turnover rate and a great demand for qualified workers. Not only are older rigs being retired, but the workforce is aging and needs replacement as well.

3. Roustabout

Although not exactly at the top of the food chain, this key position is nonetheless an essential one too. With more wells in activity, more crewmen are constantly needed. When a crew cannot fix a problem themselves, they call on a roustabout crew.

Roustabout jobs pay on average $54,000 a year, and even though many items needing attention do not require a particular skill, they do need the right touch nonetheless.  "It's going to be manual labor. It's going to be hard work," says  Brian Aylor, lease operator. "Running a shovel, swinging a hammer ... building on locations, maintenance on equipment out in the fields."

If you don't have a college education or even an associates degree, the roustabout position is just the right way for you to get your feet wet in the oil business. The job requires just a high school diploma or its equivalent, but heavy lifting will be required.

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by Philip Loyd, Brown Editor

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