5 Tips To Start Your Oil And Gas Career


The oil and gas industry has changed a lot over the past few decades due to technological de...

Lauren Edwards

By Lauren Edwards

The oil and gas industry has changed a lot over the past few decades due to technological developments, changing economic factors, and increased energy demand caused by changing consumer behaviours.

All these changes are leading to exciting new opportunities for engineers and technical personnel. So, if you're interested in a career in Oil and Gas, here are our top tips on how to get started.

1. Don’t be daunted by the oil industry

Your current job, education and work history won’t hold you back; there are  many types of oil and gas jobs available for all levels of engineers, from pipeline jobs needing welding engineers to oil refinery turnarounds seeking talent acquisition managers.  

Many industries such as the Power and Construction sectors have transferable skills. Headhunters welcome people with the necessary skills and a willingness to learn.

2. Discover your interests - drilling / offshore / shutdowns etc.

Petroleum jobs don’t just involve being out on offshore rigs or drilling platforms. As the lifecycle of an oil and gas project moves from the conceptual design stage through to decommissioning and eventually to refining, many different skillsets are required, and not just engineers.

EPC companies from Canada to Australia are all competing for the best people to excel at their projects and you might just be the perfect candidate to fill their skills gap.​

3. Gain experience in engineering

Many major oil and gas operators such as ShellChevronBPExxonMobil and Total run apprentice schemes designed to give you a taster of what it's like working in the sector, but to be considered, you’ll need to have studied in a relevant field. If you didn’t study the engineering STEM subjects then don’t panic! There are still schemes in loads of locations willing to train new engineers. 

​4. Weigh up the pros and cons of a job related to oil ​

Offshore and oilfield jobs are ever changing and the engineering needs adapt as projects progress. The energy industry offers plenty of opportunities for global travel and no end of complex technical challenges to solve. Working in oil and gas engineering will give you a chance to see the world as well as stimulate your mind.

If it’s variety that you’re looking for, the oil and gas industry also delivers. Not only are there a wide range of disciplines to choose from, you’ll have the flexibility of working on either temporary (contract) or permanent assignments. The earning potential and associated job benefits can also be substantial.

However, it's important that you also recognise the challenges associated with an international engineering job such as being far away from friends and family, working long hours, meeting tight deadlines and the need to work flexibly to accommodate project demands.

To get a foot in the door and gain the experience required to progress your career, you need to be willing to work your way up the ladder; in return for your hard work you’ll achieve an exciting long-term career and financial rewards.

If you know someone in oil and gas - talk to them about their job. Mentoring is important in all careers and an oil and gas mentor will help you navigate the industry.

Read our advice for relocating abroad with a family or what it’s like to live on an oilrig for further insights.

5. Oil and Gas Contractors! Get your CV ready – wow the hiring managers 

For maximum impact CVs should be tailored for every job application.

  • Keep it concise and focused on the key points.

  • Make sure you include your contact details, all relevant skills and experience, as well as your employment and education history in reverse chronological order.

  • Once your CV is finished, start networking with oil and gas industry professionals – this could be current oil and gas / energy engineers, recruiters and talent acquisition managers.

  • Make sure you're on popular professional networks such as LinkedIn, pay attention to your profile, make connections, follow relevant industry news as well as influencers and thought leaders to help develop your market knowledge

  • Attend industry events to grow your circle of contacts.

NES Fircroft and supporting the Oil and Gas industry

Our engineers value our ability to help shape their careers through experience garnered over 40 years of oil and gas recruitment. We have placed tens of thousands of engineering contractors on energy assignments in all 4 corners of the globe - read our expert advice on how to prepare your CV to maximise your oil and gas client appeal. We recruit for a variety of different roles in different regions, including UK oil and gas jobs.

The oil and gas contractors we work with rest assured that our partnerships with top energy operators means they have access to exciting opportunities across the world, re-assigning with us time and time again to advance their engineering careers. Our experienced recruiters can help you - find the contact details for the relevant office or register your CV on our site to apply for oil and gas jobs