Oil and gas are the world’s most important energy sources. They produce power for our factories and our homes, run our cars, ships, aircraft and railways, and provide us with plastics and other synthetic materials that, in the modern world, we often take for granted. With demand for oil and gas increasing, and greater care being taken of our natural resources, the oil industry faces a challenging and exciting future – one that is going to test its ingenuity and expertise to the full.
What sorts of people are needed?
The oil industry offers a variety of job opportunities. Many are office based, but some still demand working in difficult conditions, in the far corners of the world. There are scientists in laboratories, researching into the uses of oil, and roustabouts on platforms in the North Sea, struggling to repair a drill while a gale rages around them. There are engineers at refineries, ensuring the safety of this volatile product, and sales people discussing the latest oil products with customers.
What sorts of jobs are available?
- Exploration and production – Exploration and production provide job opportunities at every level. Looking for new oil reserves involves seismic surveying and analysis. Production also includes more specialist jobs in areas such as drilling, and electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering.
- Refining – From specialists to general technical assistants, from operating and maintenance staff to instrumentation and computer system experts, a wide range of mainly technical jobs exist.
- Marketing and Distribution – A variety of opportunities also exist in this area. From junior accounts assistant to marketing director, from oil depot manager to systems analyst, this is an area where non-scientists can make their mark in the oil industry.
- Research and Development – The search for new and better ways of finding and using oil is very important. Some of the most specialised jobs in the whole industry are to be found here. Scientists with postgraduate degrees usually lead the work, although there are some opportunities for laboratory and technical assistants.
- Commercial Services – The efficient running of all parts of the industry depends on staff specialising in areas such as personnel, finance, contracts, trading, purchase and supply, and information technology.
Types of Career
For more details of the type of role available to you based on degree type, click the links below.
- Geoscience Students
- Engineering and Physical Science Students
- Business Students
What to do next?
If you are interested in a job in this sector, it is often useful to apply for an internship, more details are available on the internships page.
For details of graduate schemes and current vacancies click here.