Good Advice for Landing an Oil & Gas Job

Geoffrey Cann, 11 May 2015.

I don’t think graduating right now with a petroleum oriented degree is a bad thing, but if you want to be involved in designing and building the next generation LNG plant, you’re going to be disappointed. The next oil and gas job in Australia is going to be in operations and maintenance. So for all you new market entrants, here’s where I would do.

•   If you can, get some training in manufacturing excellence. There’s shortages emerging for these skills in WA, NT and QLD. Anything in that realm could help (LEAN, Six Sigma, for example) and will apply to off shore, FLNG, gas plants, compression stations and LNG plants.

•   Upgrade your skills in operations. With all the plants coming on line, there will be steady demand for people trained on instrumentation and operations. It’s been my experience that these jobs will stay with the LNG companies and will not be sourced to contractors. Concentrate your search for work there. Your willingness to be trained and your low salary expectations as a new market entrant will be an asset.

•  Get to know the maintenance services contractors, particularly those focused on turbines, valves, pumps, compressors, wellheads. Their brands are not well known, but this part of the industry is going to expand to keep up with the expanding gas fields and processing equipment.

•   Consider waiting out the downturn by getting another degree. This worked very well for many during the 2008-09 downturn. If you have a technical background (engineering, petroleum, geology), consider an MBA. By the time you’re back from school, and with the expected slowdown in enrolments in the sector, you should be an attractive employee.



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