By Freddie Allen, Editor-In-Chief, NNPA Newswire
Rebecca Winkel, an economic advisor for the American Petroleum Institute (API), said that whenever she travels to communities across the country, to give presentations about her research in the oil and natural gas industry, the questions often turn to business and career opportunities.
Questions like: Where can I go to learn more about the oil and natural gas industry? What types of jobs are available in the industry? What kind of training do I need to break into the industry?
Now, people can go to http://www.oilgasworkforce.com/ to find answers to those questions.
“When you start to explain to people what the [oil and natural gas] industry does everyday…you talk about all of these products that we love and care about and need that come from the oil and natural gas industry, people start to think, ‘this is really cool, this is an industry that matters in our lives,’” Winkel said.
Still, many people don’t know how their professional skills fit into the oil and natural gas industry.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is the number of different jobs that are available in the [oil and natural gas] industry,” Winkel said. “They think that that you can only work in the field [on an oil rig] or maybe get a job as a chemist in a research lab somewhere. They don’t realize that we hire engineers, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals and economists, like myself.”
Winkel continued: “To see examples of all of the types of jobs and being able to search for open jobs in the industry is really impactful. This website is our attempt to help direct those people.”
Winkel said that the job search tool on the http://www.oilgasworkforce.com/ homepage is powered by Indeed.com, a website that “allows job seekers to search millions of jobs on the web or mobile in over 60 countries and 28 languages.” API uses filters on www.oilgasworkforce.com to make sure that jobs related to the oil and natural gas industry are featured on the website.
IHS Global reported that, “nearly 1.3 million job opportunities by 2025 and close to 1.9 million job opportunities by 2035 in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries and roughly 700,000 of those jobs are projected to be filled by African American and Hispanic workers through 2035.”
The wages offered in the oil and natural gas industry are often hire than in other sectors of the labor market.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the average annual pay in the oil and natural gas industry is over $100,000, nearly $50,000 higher than the 2014 U.S. average,” the IHS Global report said.
Other pages on the site provide information about the impact of the oil and natural gas on everyday life and outreach in communities of color, with women’s groups trade unions, veterans and millennials. The website also features information about how the industry is working to encourage education in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, also known as STEM, in elementary and middle schools.
Investing in a STEM education can pay huge dividends for Blacks seeking career opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry.
An article posted to BlackPressUSA.com said that, “Blacks with STEM bachelor’s degrees earn $45.15 in hourly wages in the oil and natural gas industry, compared to Blacks with non-STEM bachelor’s degrees, who make $28.10 per hour, according to a RAND report.”
Winkel said that API highlights those opportunities so that, “people get a sense of who we are and the work that we’re doing in the communities.”
Winkel added that the website is for everyone.
“Whether you’re coming out of high school or college and looking for a job or you’re looking for a mid-career change…whatever skills you have [the oil and natural gas industry] is a good place to apply them and we hope that people see that,” Winkel said.