The oil industry today

Oil and gas are the world’s most important energy sources. They produce power for our factories and our homes, run our cars, ships, aircraft and railways, and provide us with plastics and other synthetic materials that, in the modern world, we often take for granted.

With demand for oil and gas increasing, and greater care being taken of our natural resources, the oil industry faces a challenging and exciting future – one that is going to test its ingenuity and expertise to the full.

The oil industry offers a variety of job opportunities. Many are office based, but some still demand working in difficult conditions, in the far corners of the world.

There are scientists in laboratories, researching into the uses of oil, and roustabouts on platforms in the Sea, struggling to repair a drill. There are engineers at refineries and sales people discussing the latest oil products with customers.

Somewhere within the oil industry there may be a job for you, whether you are a school leaver, taken A-levels, Higher or other qualifications, or hoping to go on to university. The higher the qualification the better the chance of a job, but what matters most is that your skills match ups with the type of job you wish to do.

Exploration and Production – Exploration and production provide job opportunities at every level. Looking for new oil reserves involves seismic surveying and analysis. Production also includes more specialist jobs in areas such as drilling, and electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering.

Refining – From specialists to general technical assistants, from operating and maintenance staff to instrumentation and computer system experts, a wide range of mainly technical jobs exist.

Marketing and Distribution – A variety of opportunities also exist in this area. From junior accounts assistant to marketing director, from oil depot manager to systems analyst, this is an area where non-scientists can make their mark in the oil industry.

Research and Development – The search for new and better ways of finding and using oil is very important. Some of the most specialised jobs in the whole industry are to be found here. Scientists with degrees of postgraduate qualifications usually lead the work, although there are some opportunities for laboratory and technical assistants.

Commercial Services – The efficient running of all parts of the industry depends on staff specialising in areas such as personnel, finance, contracts, trading, purchase and supply, and information technology.


  • Geophysicist
  • Mudlogger
  • Geophysicist
  • Mudlogger
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Hydrologist
  • Process Engineer
  • Geochemist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Drilling Engineer
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mining Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Hydrologist
  • Geochemist
  • Account Manager
  • Oil Broker
  • Marketing Manager
  • Personnel Management
  • Production Manager
  • Plant Manager

The industry develops and uses the most advanced technology and innovative techniques to find and extract oil. As technology advances the lifetime of the oil and gas fields extends as more of the reserves can be extracted economically. At tday’s estimates it will need personnel for decades to come – personnel with the relevant skills and qualifications, but who are also motivated, adaptable individuals with good communication and IT skills, ready to become part of a team.

The geologist will use the seismic data to reconstruct the subsurface configuration to locate possible sites of oil traps. As the oil is found within porous rock they will also calculate the percentage of oil that could possibly be extracted from the reservoir. The geologist will work closely with the geophysicist.

The geophysicist will interpret the seismic data and build up the picture of the subsurface by using his or her knowledge of the past changes in the earth’s structure. The geophysicist will work closely with the geologist.

Mud Logger
The mud logger, usually a geologist, will inspect and test the drilling fluid, ‘mud’ and the debris from the well. They will be looking for traces of oil and the different types of rock samples from the well to build up a picture of the subsurface.

Reservoir Engineer
The reservoir engineer will decide from the size and shape of the reservoir, the most appropriate locations for the production wells to be drilled to get optimum recovery of the oil and gas.

This role is generally unskilled manual labouring. The roustabout helps with the drilling activities and maintenance of the drilling area.

More skilled than the roustabout, the roughneck/floorman is directly involved in the drilling process under the supervision of the assistant driller. This position involves hard physical work.

Working about 90 feet above the floor of the rig in the ‘derrick’ (the distinctive high tower), the derrickman handles the section of drill pipe under the direction of the assistant driller.

Assistant Driller
The assistant driller co-ordinates the activities on the drill floor, reports to the driller and communicates instructions and information from the driller to those working on the drilling.

The driller is responsible for the drilling team and controlling the rate and continuity of the drilling. This is highly skilled as the drill may have to penetrate many different types of rock.

The toolpusher oversees the drilling operations at night. He also ensures that the necessary equipment and materials are available.

Rig Superintendent
The rig superintendent has overall responsibility for the drilling operation.

Drilling Engineer
The drilling engineer specifies the drilling program, what kind of ‘mud’ should be used and the casing required for the well.

Operations Supervisor
The operations supervisor overseas the activities of the operators.

Wireline Operator
The wireline operator performs maintenance in the well by attaching the necessary tools to the wireline.

Coiled Tubing Operator
The coiled tubing operator uses the coiled tube to perform downhole tasks like pumping fluids down the well to stimulate the flow of oil and gas.

Production Engineer
The production engineer monitors the wells and recommends measures to increase the efficiency of the production.

Production Operator
The production operator manages the flow of the oil and gas from downhole through processing to sending it ashore.

Control Room Operator
The control room operator manages and monitors the activities and reports to the OIM

Offshore Installation Manager
The Offshore Installation Manager, or OIM, has overall responsibility for the activities offshore. This position is sometimes compared to that of a ship’s captain.

Radio Operator
The radio operator will control all movements of the helicopters, passengers and freight. He or she will also communicate with shipping in the area.

Crane Operator 
and a lot more…..