THE OIL INDUSTRY CRASH
The oil industry has always been a prolific one, which drives all other industries. Now, it’s seeing its biggest downturn in decades. While the oil price remains volatile as the result of complex geopolitical strategies among the oil-producing nations and organizations of the world, so too does the oil industry itself.
The indifferent and oblivious end consumer may be temporarily enjoying the benefits of reduced costs of gas and goods, the US as well as the international oil industry is taking the hardest knock.
The Oil Industry Crash And Jobs
The price of oil has pretty much been slashed in half, from $107 a barrel in July 2014, to $54 a barrel right now (Feb 2017) This drastically reduced price has seen many companies go bankrupt, shut down, decommission their rigs, and cancel investments which were aimed at expanding exploration and increasing production.
Many employed in oilfields were considered some of the highest paid workers in the US, even those without higher education qualifications. Whilst things are just starting to pick up in some areas, over 85 0000 American workers in the oil field have lost their jobs since June 2014.
Aside from many workers no longer being needed due to decreases in production, the changing landscape of the oil industry has changed the job market in that some professions are less in demand and others actually are in higher demand.
Companies, no doubt, have had to find ways to diversify and change strategy as well as the unpleasantness of laying off scores of workers.
Highest Paying Jobs In Oil Field- May 2014 Vs May 2015
We take a look at some of the highest paid oil field jobs at the moment. We look at what these jobs entail, how much the average salary is and how this compares over the first year of the oil crash and present.
Figures are according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that are released in March and detail average salaries from May 2014 –May 2015 and then May 2015-May 2016.
*The figures for May 2015-May 2016 are to be released in March 2017.
These are the highest paid professions that operate on the actual oil field. It is worth noting that offsite professions in the oil and gas industry, such as investors, off-site company managers may actually earn much more.
Here's a quick summary of the other high paying jobs that made the top 10 list:
1. MANAGERS - Increased
General and Operations Managers
Training and Development Managers - Increased
Oil field managers rank as one of the highest paying jobs on the actual oil field and seem to be in steady demand as their average salary increased.
2. PETROLEUM ENGINEERS - Decreased
Petroleum engineers were usually one of the most sought after professionals in this industry as their expertise in developing new methods of extraction. However, their compensation rate seemed to have been waning during this crash.
GEOSCIENTISTS, Except Hydrologists and Geographers- Increased (slightly)
Geoscientists are another crucial profession as their in depth knowledge of geochemical, geophysical and Geological data facilitate in finding commercially viable stores of oil and gas and acting act as consultants in many engineering projects.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers - Increased
Mechanical Engineers Decreased
Chemical Engineers - Decreased
With many different types of engineers needed on the oil field, there seems to be mixed results as to the effect of their annual salary.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists - Increased
Legal Occupations - Increased
Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors - Decreased
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations - Decreased
The oil field can be a dangerous workplace, with potential accidents and lawsuits waiting at every corner if workers are not careful.
Inspectors are crucial in this field to investigate any potential hazards to worker, environmental and public safety, to investigate suspected law and commissions rule violations, and to deal with these accordingly. Again, we see mixed changes in annual salary, with legal occupations inspectors seeing the highest increase.
5. PILOTS - Increased
Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
The remote nature of oil fields often requires workers and cargo to be transported back and forth on a daily, weekly basis. Pilots still seem to be increasing demand.
6. EQUIPMENT WORKERS - Decreased
Media and Communication Equipment Workers
The highly technical nature of oil field work would require lots of technical equipment needing to be made and maintained. While still highly paid, the crash may have seen a cut-back on equipment and it subsequent workers.
7. MATERIALS ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS - Increased
Chemists and Materials Scientists
Material engineers are constantly looking for improved ways to develop composite materials, and alternative applications for them. The need to find new market avenues may be a driving force in the increase demand for materials engineers and scientists.
8. ACCOUNTANTS - Increased
Accountants and Auditors
Needed in every industry, and especially one with copious amounts of money going around, accountants are no doubt some of the highest paid and sought after professions in the oil industry, especially at a time when companies need to audit every cent made and spent.
Electro-Mechanical Technicians - Increased
Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters - Decreased
The primary function of an oil field technician is to maintain and optimize the productivity and oil flow from wells by maintaining the infrastructure surrounding it. The decrease in oil production has caused a slight decrease in salary or need for such technicians.
10. DERRICK HAND:
Derrick Operators - Increased
Handling the uppermost part of the drilling and overseeing the machinery thereof, a derrick hand is a crucial and popular employee on the oil field, with a slight increase in salary.
Candice Janneman is a freelance writer, blogger and copywriter from South Africa