There are plenty of career opportunities and demand for engineers in the petroleum industry. If you’re thinking of joining the industry, this guide will offer some insight with these tips for aspiring petroleum engineers and how you can prepare for success in the future!
Never Stop Learning
The oil and gas industry is one that still requires at least a bachelor’s degree for most positions. Some individuals even choose to go for a master’s, although it’s usually not a requirement. The most common declared major is petroleum engineering, but some choose to major in chemical or mechanical engineering as well. However, you’re not done learning after university because the petroleum industry is one where there’s always something new to learn. For instance, you should at least have a basic understanding of the components involved in the petroleum industry, such as the common types of valves used. After your degree, you could choose to get certified through the Society of Petroleum Engineers, which will further your expertise and make you more appealing in the job market.
There’s a Handful of Skills You Should Have
Aside from the skills you’ll learn at school, such as math, chemistry, and physics, there are several skills you’ll need that aren’t easily teachable. For example, petroleum engineers should be strong communicators, as you’re going to present your findings and assist in making multi-million-dollar decisions. That said, you’ll need to be comfortable working under pressure and deadlines because you’ll be reporting to clients that are ready to make a large investment. In addition, you should be comfortable collaborating in teams because you’re going to work with teammates a lot—especially in the beginning stages of your career.
Meet People in the Industry
Connections are everything in the workforce, so you should have a LinkedIn account and try to network with people in the industry. Don’t go connecting with too many people, however. Connecting with too many people before you have all the qualifications for the job can appear desperate and leave a sour taste in other’s mouths about you. Additionally, CEOs and higher-ups aren’t going to connect with someone that won’t add value to them, and it’s nothing personal against you—just recognize that they’re very busy people. Instead, connect with people that have recently joined the industry, as they can give advice that’s modern and relevant. Just jumping on a call or getting coffee during the weekend can lead to a relationship that may get you a job in the future.
If your strengths include math, science, physics, chemistry, and so on, being a petroleum engineer may be a great career path for you. If this industry intrigues you, get ready to learn a lot and never stop because there’s always something to learn. Additionally, you should have several other soft skills to help you succeed in the industry. You can learn even more by connecting with individuals who are in the industry—they may be your way in the door after all.