Is oilfield services equipment a good career path? It can be the right path for you if you are comfortable with heavy, physical work and a non-conventional work routine.
One of the perks of working in the oilfield industry is that it allows you to move your career into an integrated oil company. But if you are looking at this career as an end and not as a means, you can still benefit from its unique perks and benefits. Is oilfield services/equipment a good career path? For some professionals in the industry, it is.
Here is everything you need to know to decide if you want to take up this career.
What is Oilfield Services/Equipment?
The phrase oilfield services/equipment is a broad term that includes all businesses that support the petroleum extraction industry.
It includes all the businesses that maintain equipment for the oil companies, offer installation and maintenance services, and help with equipment procurement in one way or another.
These businesses employ staff members who understand the equipment required for drilling and extraction operations.
These executives are responsible for operating the machinery, keeping a check on its wear and tear, and offering maintenance services when needed.
Examples of Oilfield Services/Equipment
As we have mentioned earlier, this term is broad and encompasses a variety of operations. Different small and large businesses support the oil industry.
You could be working with a business that provides drilling components, pumps, pump containments, trucks for transporting combustible products, catch tanks and containments, pipe racks, mud vacuums, and premix tanks.
Read More: 15 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation
Is Oilfield Services/Equipment a Good Career Path?
Obviously, the oilfield services and equipment industry depends on the oil and gas industry to survive. Consequently, the growth of the oil and gas industry will positively impact this business sector tremendously.
This industry employs highly specialized personnel. As the intensity of specialization required by a job increases, compensation for taking it up also increases. As a result, the oilfield services and equipment industry is filled with roles that attract a high pay scale.
But a guarantee of a high rate of pay is just one factor that attracts people to these businesses. Here are all the benefits you will experience if you pursue a career in the oilfield services and equipment industry.
Benefits of the Career
The employment prospects within this industry are based on the experience and skill level of the employee. You will see that at entry level, you will be offered a lower hourly rate than when you have spent a few years in your career.
So, you have to invest your time in the company or role to build your career. And going back to school is not the most advised option for these executives.
This industry employs technicians and laborers because of the operational nature of the job. These technicians are responsible for operating the equipment or taking care of the tools.
They don’t have to design the project or indicate problems in a complex environment. As a result, engineering jobs make up only a portion of vacancies open in this sector.
Considering the nature of the job, these jobs pay an hourly rate. In the US, the oilfield services and equipment industry maintains an hourly rate between $15 and $25 for laborers. Technicians are paid higher with an hourly rate ranging between $35 and $50.
This sector includes numerous services and product-based businesses. Talent requirements among most of these businesses overlap.
It means that you can start your career in one business and end up doing the same task at another end of the supply chain. The specialization of skills will not affect the opportunities of the job you have.
Another factor that makes employment in this sector desirable is the growth rate it is experiencing. The industry has expected to show a CAGR of 6.6% in the decade ending 2027. So, it will be expanding with the job market even after accounting for the jobs lost to automation.
A higher chance of career growth is guaranteed within the oilfield services/equipment industry. This growth opportunity comes in different forms. First, the industry is interrelated in terms of the talent they require.
When you are in the services and equipment industry, it’s easy for you to hop into the oil and gas industry because of your skillset. And you can choose to move from an entry-level position to a high position if you express your learning well.
At the same time, growth within the company is also easier within this sector. This industry rewards talent and experience.
So, as you gain deeper insight into your subject matter, you become more valuable to your employer. This will lead to a higher pay rate for you.
This industry operates on an international level. The businesses involved in it may have international clients or operate internationally.
This business model puts you in a position to move to other countries for a project or job. Your company may ask you to work in an international office for some time to broaden your or other executives’ experience. You can also simply ask for relocation to spend time in another country and explore new places.
You will also see an improvement in your lifestyle because of the relaxed schedule offered by most of these businesses.
Businesses in this sector often allow three weeks of paid leave to their workers after every three weeks of work.
Sometimes, the balance is two weeks of duty and one week off. But you still get more off days than employees of other industries.
Requirements for Career
Now, you might be thinking that because of the low background academic requirement put forth by this industry and lucrative benefits, this is the most attractive industry to work for, right? I am afraid that not many people find it lucrative because of some of its requirements.
Here are all the demands this industry makes from potential employees.
The first condition is to be able to handle tough tasks. The majority of the workers in the oilfield services/equipment industry are laborers. If you don’t know a trade, your best path is to get enlisted as a manual worker within this industry.
You may want to use other methods of getting into this field because of your career goals. For that matter, you have two different routes.
First, you can join as a laborer and move up the ladder of decision-making and operational roles. And the second option for you is to get onboard as a skilled worker or as a manager.
Most of the career options in the oilfield involve manual labor.
Other than physical efforts, you have to bring your experience and qualifications to the table. Luckily, you don’t need lots of qualifications to get into the field.
But if you want to attain a managerial position, you must have a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree. To become a skilled laborer, you can work on a relevant certificate or get an onsite apprenticeship. For more specific and skill-requiring roles, you may want a mix of qualifications and experience.
As a skilled or unskilled worker, you may find that entry into this field will require some serious job-hunting skills. But once you have acquired the relevant skills and experience, job opportunities will become easily accessible to you.
Also, when considering this sector as your possible job, you should consider the risk involved in these tasks. These risks are especially pronounced for you if you want to work as a laborer or as an oilfield inspector.
We can see that the industry employs a vast variety of professionals from the labor force. These companies need managers, sales representatives, equipment operators, maintenance technicians, and laborers.
Consequently, the salary range within this industry is quite wide. Managers and offsite executives earn the highest rates.
These decision-makers are followed by the second tier of workers with respect to skills – skilled workers. After skilled workers, unskilled laborers get the lowest hourly rate.
But the pay rate also differs with the complexity and risk associated with the task.
On average, the employees within this field earn $66,000 in annual income.
The oilfield services and equipment industry is tied to the oil and gas industry. Likewise, the prospects of the best-paying jobs in the natural gas industry say a lot about those in the oilfield services and equipment industry.
Vantage Market Research estimated that the industry’s annual growth will remain positive during the coming years. Not only that, this industry anticipates a high positive growth rate that stands at 5.9%. This growth rate is anticipated for the years 2021 to 2028.
Note that this annual increase in income potential of this sector may not represent a direct increase in employment opportunities within it. Yet, it’s a very close perimeter for the same.
High Paying Jobs in Oilfield Services/Equipment
Here are some of the high-paying jobs in the oilfield services and equipment sector.
Director of Operations
This strategic level position – which is also one of the best-paying jobs in consumer non-durables – earns upward of six figures in a year.
The executive is responsible for overseeing all operations of the company from its equipment needs to HR, to strategic and competitive actions. Budgeting, procurement, and marketing are some key tasks undertaken by this position.
Understandably, this task doesn’t include a lot of on-site work. But you will still have to oversee the operations a bit as a director of operations.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in business administration, you need extensive experience in the industry to successfully carry out the duties imparted by this role.
These skilled laborers are tasked to operate and maintain delivery equipment. They check the vehicles for safety and quality standards. Namely, their tasks include checking for cracks and leaks in the containers.
This technical role is carried out on site. If you want to become one such operator, you can do so with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
Note that although a bachelor’s degree increases the chances of getting the job, you can also start working as an apprentice and work your way up to becoming a qualified operator.
This technical job earns a salary of $90,000 and above annually.
These engineers oversee the drilling operations. They are responsible to plan the drilling method and location and are tasked to select the equipment for it. They also test the drilling work to ensure maximum material efficiency.
We can see that these engineers have to carry out technical issues of the operations. Plus, their job description also includes some bits of strategic planning and decision-making in the form of planning and execution of drilling operations.
This mix of technical and strategic capabilities makes them uniquely valuable for these companies. They are paid upward of $80,000 for the value they bring to the table.
Chemical engineers are counted among the best-paying jobs in basic industries especially pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, and cosmetics. Likewise, they are also needed within supporting industries such as oilfield services and equipment industry.
In this industry, they have to oversee adequate storage of petroleum products so they maintain their most desired chemical structure. Sometimes, their job description also entails managing the chemicals used to refine and process crude oil.
The basic requirement to get noticed as a chemical engineer in the oilfield industry is a bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemical engineering. Once you are in, you can get an average annual salary of $81,000.
These managers supervise the operations of offshore drilling channels. They procure the equipment, commission maintenance exercises and quality checks, and handle day-to-day issues that may arise in these facilities.
You will also see them coordinating with the crew members, building teams, and ensuring safety standards for the vessel and its transportation.
Being one of the best-paying jobs in the marine transportation industry, they are educated in marine sciences as well as in petroleum products. Most of these managers reach this level with a mix of academic qualifications and experience.
As a vessel manager, you can earn an average annual salary of $72,000.
The oilfield services/equipment industry may or may not be your best career choice depending on your lifestyle and your health conditions. For starters, this industry depends mostly on laborers.
Then, you will experience long hours at your workplace. But if you survive these two issues, you will be rewarded with high pay and long holidays.
At the same time, the growth of the industry promises reasonable growth for employment opportunities in this industry.
In short, when you get employed within the oilfield services/equipment industry and have relevant skills and experience, you can be sure that you will easily get employment.