7 Oil Field Jobs Companies Are Desperate To Fill

oil field jobs: derrick hand, roustabout

It would have seemed the stuff of science fiction if it hadn't appeared on newspapers across the world: According to new forecasts, the United States may soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the planet's largest oil producing country. Developments in technology and high oil prices have created stunning oil booms across the U.S., transforming sleepy towns into energy powerhouses, and making the longtime dream of American energy independence a possibility again.

There's just one problem: More oil requires more oil workers.

By 2020, one industry report claims that the oil industry will have created an additional 1.3 million positions. "Even if we are [energy independent], we can't hire enough people to keep it running," says Brian Aylor, who works in the oil fields in Midland, Texas, where the current oil boom plunged unemployment to 3.3 percent in September. "There's demand for everything."

Companies in boomtowns like Midland, Texas, pay workers handsomely; kids fresh out of high school can earn $80,000 a year if they're willing to get their hands dirty. And while oilfield experience is preferred (companies are desperately looking for experienced hands), anywhere with oil-soaked shale beneath the feet is probably hungry for workers with any kind of technical background, whether they're military veterans or car mechanics.

More: Oil Workers Win Big As U.S. Wages Climb

AOL Jobs spoke with a half dozen West Texas staffing firms and a number of industry people to find out the most in-demand jobs -- and what it takes to land one. Job seekers pondering a new career in the gas and oil sector can check out the list of positions below, and see if they have the skills and temperament to join America's 21st century energy revolution.

1. Truck Driver

Why It's In Demand: "Because everyone needs trucks, from moving rigs and equipment, to hauling oil and water away, and 'frack' sand," says Ryan Lellis, an oil field geologist in the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. "Right now, every company is hurting for that."

What It Pays: An oil industry trucker can make up to $2,500 a week, according to Lonnie Ortiz, who owns L J Trucking, based in Odessa, Texas, although Payscale.com places the average at $45,000 a year.

Why It's A Tough Gig: "Someone with short patience won't make it as a truck driver," Ortiz says. "Someone with a short fuse won't make it as a truck driver." Truckers have to be "go-getters who can figure out problems, self-starters, leaders," he explains, since if they break down, assistance might not come for a while.

Qualifications: "You're a mechanic. You're a tire man. You're a load supervisor," says Ortiz. "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

Why It's In Demand: Not only are rigs springing up almost everyday, but a lot of current derrick hands are older, and getting ready to retire. "They call it the Great Crew Shift," says Tim Cook, the recruiting manager for Houston-based Pathfinder Staffing.

What It Pays: $69,000 a year, according to Indeed.com.

Why It's A Tough Gig: The derrick hand's job is to monitor the drilling fluid, maintain the pumps, guide the drill pipe, unjam jams, and any and all kinds of lifting, pulling, pushing and climbing in-between. "You're the 'anything that is extremely dangerous' person," says Benham.

Qualifications: Applicants should have some experience with rig work, have no fear of heights, and be able to pass a drug test.


3. Floorhand/Leasehand/Roustabout

Why It's In Demand: The more wells you have running, the more crewmen you need. The name changes depending on the company, but these lower-level hands have to do it all. Brian Aylor, a lease operator, says he calls in the roustabout crew when he can't fix something on the well himself.

What It Pays: $54,000 (according to the Drilling Oil and Natural Gas Wells Salary Survey).

Why It's A Tough Gig: The roustabout does a lot of the essential things on the rig sites that require less technical know-how. "It's going to be manual labor. It's going to be hard work," says Aylor. "Running a shovel, swinging a hammer ... building on locations, maintenance on equipment out in the fields."

"You've got to be a hands-on type of person, and not be afraid to get dirty, and not be afraid to lift heavy things and be around dangerous machinery," says Benham.

Qualifications: A roughneck needs a high school diploma or equivalent, and to be able to lift 150 pounds with the aid of another person, and stand for 12 hours wearing steel-toed boots.

More: 10 Industries Set To Boom



4. MWD Field Engineer

Why It's In Demand: A measuring-while-drilling field engineer is responsible for just that: Taking readings in the field during the drilling process -- to evaluate the drill site, and make sure that the drilling is done properly and efficiently. One job posting describes work hours as "unlimited and irregular."

What It Pays: Between $63,000 and $80,000 according to listings on Glassdoor.com.

Why It's A Tough Gig: The engineers measure "all the fun little numbers you think would matter while you're drilling a hole" says Benham, a specialist at temporary staffing firm in Midland. Those numbers are needed during the entire drilling process, so MWD field engineers can expect some serious demands on their time.

Qualifications: An undergraduate degree in engineering or science, or technical experience.

More: Trace Adkins Talks About His Old 'Day Job' As A Roughneck



5. Geologist

Why It's In Demand: "Most oil drilling is founded on geology, it's the first step," says Ryan Lellis, who's been an oil field geologist in Midland, Texas, for 2½ years. "The rocks have to be there and someone has to recognize that the rocks are there."

What It Pays: Geologists are well compensated for their key role; after 10 to 14 years experience they take home an average salary of $153,000, according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. $99,000 and up (according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists).

Why It's A Tough Gig: Geologists need to be extremely diligent, since their findings determine where an oil field company will then spend millions to drill a well. But for Lellis, that's also why the job is so satisfying -- presenting his findings to the managers and owners of his company, "and for them to spend money -- a lot of money" based on his conclusions.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Science degree, although a master's will give you a boost.



6. Welder

Why It's In Demand: "What I'm seeing is actually a tremendous growth in the [welding] industry," MSU-Billings College of Technology welding instructor Bob Blackwell told KTVQ in January. And folks are noting the trend all over the country, with oil companies, desperate for welders to repair and maintain rigs, using higher salaries to poach welders from other industries.

What It Pays: $18 and $28 an hour, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. But WDAY-TV has reported salaries as high as $12- to $14,000 a month in boom areas.

Why It's A Tough Gig: Like most rig jobs, you need to be able to handle some physical strain: heavy-lifting, hoisting, crawling, crouching, and heights.

Qualifications: High school degree or equivalent, welding training.



7. Accountant

Why It's In Demand: Not all oil and gas jobs involve digging really big holes. Those holes mean lots of paperwork, and the industry is hungry for office support staff to bean-count it all into place, according to Lesley Donnell, a branch manager at the Midland/Odessa office of Robert Half International.

"Accountants in general," she says, "specifically we have a high demand for tax accountants here right now."

What It Pays: $68,000 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Why It's A Tough Gig: Numbers, numbers, numbers.

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or business.

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greg_knight2

I hope you call me been out of work for 6 months have worked in oilfield I love it but everyone is not drilling here in west va my number is 304 767 5377

Monday at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesse Garcia

Were do i sign for this job .i ben working in different refinery s for the past 9 years around so i know about getting dirty and working with heavy **** .im currently looking for a job and i know this is what i wanna do ..i can pass drug screen no problem if u guys can call me @409 728 1473

March 15 2015 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nettie

My Name is Mark and I took early retirement from a ,city in Colorado. I hold a current CDL with hazmat/tankers endorsements and was an equipment operator 2. I have a clean MVR. Over 20 years driving plus varied equipment and vehicles. Looking to work and don't know who the support companies are that might need a driver. Can anyone help or know of companies hiring? I appreciate any help! 719-360-8100.

February 23 2015 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danialchakkaravarthy

Respected sir,
I am a Bachelor’s of B.E (harbor engineering and offshore technology) and now looking forward to work with oil company. For all four years of my academic career I ranked distinction class in the university,
Apart from this I was also very good in survey engineering. Please give me one chance to prove myself and grow in your company. Kindly contact me on my number 91-8678904878 or chakkaravarthydanial@gmail.com if you want me to come for an interview at your office.
Thanking you,

February 02 2015 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frac wife

I live in Colorado and there are actually quite a few jobs available in the industry here as well. After one year at Halliburton, my husband has 4 job offers that pay about $100,000 per year. He only has an AA degree in ministry. Most of his work has been as a frac hand. Yes, long hours and over 100 per week, but he gets 7 days off after 2 weeks on. Nice thing about CO is the outlying suburbs of Denver have reasonable rent (we pay 1650 for a gorgeous 3 bd, 3 bath house), he gets to come home every night, & our weather is way nicer than the forty below of ND or extreme heat of TX. (Mild winters, perfect summers). In originally from northeastern Montana so I know what the weather is like in those parts & I have friends and family working in the industry in both Texas & north Dakota. We considered moving to one of those places, but it can't beat living conditions here. Companies I know that are hiring right now here are Halliburton, atlas oil, calfrac & baker Hughes. There's also support companies that deliver fuel & sand to frac site and they need help too. I'm sure there are more. You have to just google the company websites and apply online. You don't need a college degree or experience to get into the field. A cdl helps, but most companies will train you and help you get it. Good luck.

January 03 2015 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frac wife

I live in Colorado and there are actually quite a few jobs available in the industry here as well. After one year at Halliburton, my husband has 4 job offers that pay over $100,000 per year. He only has a degree in ministry. Most of his work has been as a frac hand. Yes, long hours and over 100 per week, but he gets 7 days off after 2 weeks on. Nice thing about CO is the outlying suburbs of Denver have reasonable rent (we pay 1650 for a gorgeous 3 bd, 3 bath house), he gets to come home every night, & our weather is way nicer than the forty below of ND or extreme heat of TX. (Mild winters, perfect summers). In originally from northeastern Montana so I know what the weather is like in those parts. Companies I know that are hiring here are Halliburton, atlas oil, calfrac & baker Hughes. There's also support companies that deliver fuel & sand to frac site and they need help too. I'm sure there are more. You have to just google the company websites and apply online. You don't need a college degree or experience to get into the field. A cdl helps, but most companies will train you and help you get it. Good luck.

January 03 2015 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cnntx

v

December 17 2014 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cnntx

In Response to your ad, I'm Chukwunanu Nzeka and I currently reside in San Antonio, willing to relocate and with no experience in the oil field but am motivated to undertake new challenge and career in the oil field. I'm very hard working, dedicated, reliable and go-getter with 100% commitment with any task that is set for me. I work for the Business Development Centre for a car sale company in San Antonio and within a short while with my dedication and hard work, I was able to exceed expectation and supersede every one in my department. I'm not very happy with the job because it requires to seat all the time and make phone call. I want a job that will keep me fit and active all day long, to avoid growing old quickly. I'll appreciate an opportunity for a career in the oil field and willing to get my hands dirty in order to get the job done. Kindly contact me at (210)995-5559 or email: cnntexas@yahoo.com so I can send my Curriculum Vitae.

Thanks.

CN Nzeka

December 17 2014 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cnntx

In Response to your ad, I'm Chukwunanu Nzeka and I currently reside in San Antonio, willing to relocate and with no experience in the oil field but am motivated to undertake new challenge and career in the oil field. I'm very hard working, dedicated, reliable and go-getter with 100% commitment with any task that is set for me. I got my work authorization about a year ago and since then, have been working for the Business Development Centre for a car sale company in San Antonio and within a short while and my dedicated hard work, I was able to exceed expectation and supersede every one in my department. I'll appreciate an opportunity for a career in the oil field and willing to get my hands dirty in order to get the job done. Kindly contact me at (210)995-5559 or email: cnntexas@yahoo.com so I can send my Curriculum Vitae.

Thanks.

CN Nzeka
(210)995-5559
cnntexas@yahoo.com

December 17 2014 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brandon Schmalriede

Please Help!!! Im looking for work . Ive been moving furniture for ten years roofed houses apartment maintenance. Im not afraid of work i would love to get in the oil field so i can start putting money back for my. Future . Please call me and let me know if you have leads . Pass drug physical no problem . Every job i have ever had i got along and companies really like me. My number is 214 325 6544

November 11 2014 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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