How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat

How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat


The industries of the oil and gas industry are diverse in the way they operate, offering a variety of opportunities and benefits to those with specific educational standards and the requisite skills.

Despite rumors of a shortage of crude oil and about environmental concerns, the industry continues to thrive with more focus on managing carbon and improving the health of the planet.

We all prioritize our work differently; some may value satisfaction over money, while others prioritize location or travel opportunities. Job opportunities in this challenging field have many reasons to consider such a career path.

The oil and gas industry is one of the largest sectors in the world in dollar terms, generating about $ 3.3 trillion in revenue annually. Oil is critical to the global economic system, especially its largest producers: the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Russia, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, Oman, Canada, Israel, China, etc.

Investors looking to enter the oil and gas industry can quickly be overwhelmed by the complex jargon and unique metrics used in the sector. This introduction is intended to help anyone understand the fundamentals of oil and gas companies by explaining key measurement concepts and standards.

The oil and gas industry is divided into three main segments, which are upstream, midstream and downstream. Exploration and production (exploration and production) companies find reservoirs and drill oil and gas wells.

Mid-level companies are responsible for transportation from wells to refineries, while downstream companies are responsible for refining and selling finished products. In addition, drilling companies enter into contracts with oil and gas exploration and production companies for their services.

Now let’s see what are these three main segments represent themselves.


Exploration and production businesses consist of oil and gas exploration and production companies. These are firms looking around the world for reservoirs of raw materials, and then drilling to extract this material. These companies are often referred to as “exploration and production”.

The exploration and production segment is characterized by high risks, high investment capital, long service life, since it takes time to search and drill, and is also technologically intensive. Almost all items in the cash flow and income statement of exploration and production companies are directly related to oil and gas production.


Mid-level companies are those that are focused on transportation. They are responsible for transporting the extracted raw materials to refineries for oil and gas processing. Medium-sized companies are characterized by transportation, transportation of goods, pipelines, and storage of raw materials.

The middle segment is also highly regulated, especially with regard to pipeline transportation, and low capital risk. The segment also naturally depends on the success of the mining companies.


Refineries – these are companies responsible for removing impurities and converting oil and gas into consumer products such as gasoline, jet fuel, fuel oil, and asphalt.

How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat

Why oil and gas industry worth it?

According to the International Energy Agency, the oil and gas sector makes a huge contribution to global GDP, which is about 2.2% of total GDP (2016).

Whether you are considering starting a career in the oil and gas industry or the broader energy sector, this industry offers a number of tempting benefits, such as:

  • Wages in this sector are usually above average, and this is due to several factors, such as the level of education required. However, other incentives, such as lucrative financial bonuses, will also come into play and make potentially remote jobs more attractive to workers. Individual salaries vary widely based on experience level and role-related skills, although they rarely start below $ 25k. Those in senior or more skilled positions can receive significantly higher wages.
  • Technology is an integral part of this industry, and as you move along this path, you will have the opportunity to receive regular training using cutting-edge equipment. Keeping your skills high will go a long way towards helping your career path.
  • Travel opportunities are common due to the global demand for these resources. The growing need for skilled professionals means that such career choices give you real geographic flexibility, especially if you are working overseas!
  • In an oil and gas sector, learning happens at a constant pace. The sector is constantly evolving and advances in technology and practice are commonplace, which means you can look forward to professional development alongside work.
  • The skills you can develop in this industry can be very specific, for example in the areas of oil economics, oil and gas exploration management, refinery management, and production materials management. However, you will also expand your analytical, communication and management skills.

How to start a career in the oil and gas industry as an expat?

Working in oil and gas sector can be extremely beneficiary both personally and professionally. Continuous development means that it is growing at a fast pace and therefore you should keep an eye on the latest emerging trends.

Due to the sheer scale of the industry, there are several disciplines to choose from. Be sure to do your own deep research to understand which roles are available, and which of them interest you the most, also what skills and qualifications you need to get that position.

Many companies organize networking events, which are a great way for students and alumni to meet professionals in the field and make useful contacts with which to move forward.

If you think the oil and gas industry offers you a position from which you can build your career, take steps for reaching that. Anyways we have made a list of a few steps that will help you reach your goals in that specific industry as an expat.

Use your experience

You may not have a rich experience in the oil and gas industry, but you probably may have that experience in other sectors.

When looking for a job in the oil and gas industry, there are two things you need to pay attention to. You should study the various positions in this area to determine the skills and qualities required.

Then take a close look at your experience. See where your experience and skills can fit the bill. This is what you will want to mention on your resume and interview.

Research where the demand is higher

There are jobs in the oil and gas industry all over the world, but there are places where demand is incredibly high. For example in the United States’ Texas and Louisiana states are leaders in the oil and gas industry, but Pennsylvania or Massachusetts, have no huge demand for such workers.

You should look not only at the geographic location of the demand, but also at the types of vacancies in demand. Almost everything related to engineering is in great demand among you.

Another area of ​​increased demand is occupational safety. Accidents involving oil and gas workers are frequent, and the industry knows it just needs to get more done.

How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat

Start with entry-level jobs

In some cases, if you have no work experience or have limited work experience, you may have to start from the bottom and work your way up.

It may sound awful, but remember that oil and gas jobs pay well. Even entry-level jobs may pay higher than most of the others.

For some professions, such as working as a truck driver, medical claims analyst, mechanic, or machine tool operator, you do not need a degree and can study on the job.

There are other professions that may require a degree, such as marketing and public relations, business administration, or engineering.

Get an internship or apprenticeship

An internship or apprenticeship can increase your chances of getting a job in the oil and gas industry. This is a great way to get started and get the experience you need.

There are skilled jobs that will pay a lot more if you pay the premiums. You may be able to study at school and at work and get a very high-paying and demanded job.

Internships make your job easier while you’re still in college and make it easier for companies to recruit.

Whether you specialize in engineering or are in accounting, supply chain management, IT, geosciences, or human resources, you can easily get an internship at a large company.

Find the pros and cons of the industry

As already noted the oil and gas industry can be very demanding. This can affect your relationship and yours if you don’t fully understand what you are signing up for.

For example, a good salary is by far the biggest benefit. Another great thing is that you can build a great career in this field if you work hard. There are all kinds of training courses and you can improve your skills.

There are also disadvantages. For example, workers share living quarters (in fact, they share almost everything). It also means that you won’t have much privacy.

Oil rigs are located far from urban areas. This means that you will be surrounded by the same people every day.

Prepare your resume

To be hired, you need to have a great resume. You need to make sure that your resume highlights your relevant skills and experience mentioned earlier. Make your resume to be clear and short.

Network more

You don’t want to send your resume to different companies and hope to be called for an interview. You want to have an inside contact that will help you interview and find a job.

You want to start communicating with people early on in the process. Sign in to LinkedIn and connect with people in your oil and gas industry. Start asking them questions, inviting them for coffee or making calls.

You can use professional and alumni associations to see if you can get additional contacts in the industry.

Job search in the oil and gas industry

Breaking into a new industry is not easy. This is even more difficult if you have no previous experience. There are ways to find work in the oil and gas industry without experience. You will get one of the highest-paying jobs in the country.

First, you need to choose your career path. You may be able to draw on previous experience in another industry that can apply well to the oil and gas industry.

You should also make sure that you build your connections as you progress, and look for an internship, apprenticeship, or similar opportunity to help you get on your doorstep.

So how to find a job in the oil industry abroad as an expat?

The best way to do this is to visit some of the websites that specialize in jobs and careers in the oil industry. You must have a good and professionally written resume! Remember that your resume is your first step towards finding a job.

If you have relatives of friends living abroad, you can talk to them and find out as much as possible about that particular country. If your skills are not needed there, you can look up skill lists of other countries and see if they need workers in this area.

It may be helpful to contact the companies with branches in other countries. They can hire you and give you the opportunity to live abroad. If you get a job at one of these companies, you will be greatly helped with the documentation. You can ask your employer if they have any help with the move. In most cases, this is the case. Many companies will provide free housing or camps.

If you are looking for a job in Europe, you can visit one of the many forums on the oil and gas industry in European countries. Before you start looking for a job abroad, you need to know more about the current trends in the oil industry in this part of the world.

8 most demanded professions of oil & gas industry

How to find oil and gas jobs as an expat

Chemical engineer

The oil business is subdivided into downstream and downstream components. Upstream includes exploration and production, while downstream requires chemical engineers to analyze the chemical processes that occur at the end of the oil refining cycle.

Refining is often referred to as the muddy pedestrian side of the oil business. However, the salaries of chemical engineers in the industry are relatively competitive compared to salaries of petroleum engineers and geologists.

Mechanical engineer

The engineering aspect of the oil and gas business is often focused on the design and implementation of large projects. This could include the construction of refineries, pipelines, and offshore oil platforms.

The specialized skills required include knowledge of fluid dynamics, thermal engineering, 3D modeling, and complex construction methodologies. Work often takes place in the field in a wide variety of locations.

Some universities offer 5- or 6-year programs in which the student is awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Drilling engineers/drilling supervisors/drillers

Due to the recent discoveries of oil and gas around the world, including Africa (East Africa and the Gulf of Guinea), and the active exploration of oil around the world, there is a very high demand for geologists (geologists). and geophysics). Geophysicists are involved in the search for oil, as well as in the early stages after the discovery of oil. Drilling engineers/supervisors/drillers are involved in drilling operations (both exploration and production). There is a worldwide shortage of experienced drilling engineers. A colleague of mine, a drilling engineer, told me that he had already received two good offers via connectedIn (without even submitting an application!). And he has almost 3 years of experience!

How to find oil & gas jobs as an expat

Piping Engineers

With oil companies embarking on more uncertain but lucrative deep-sea operations, there is a high demand for people with deep-sea experience. Subsea engineers design, implement and maintain structures, tools, and equipment used in subsea components of offshore oil and gas production. Pipeline engineers design and maintain subsea pipelines in offshore fields. The geoscientists/completions (wells) who are producing oil at the optimum level from oil wells cannot be ignored.

Marine specialists/engineers

Marine professionals are highly critical in the oil and gas industry. You need maritime professionals in offshore oil and gas operations. This is due to the constant use of marine vessels and boats for the delivery and transportation of crude oil, liquefied gas, food, equipment, etc. In addition, the increase in the number of floating vessels for oil production in deepwater fields around the world requires specialized skills of marine professionals for maintaining the stability of the vessel at sea.

Believe me, maritime specialists are at their best. I know a marine specialist who has worked for 3 major oil companies in Nigeria over the past 8 years.

Marine maintenance technicians

They are mechanics, electricians, and instrumentation specialists working on rigs and production platforms both onshore and offshore. These specialists are in huge demand all over the world.

Truck drivers and crane operators

Yes, you read that right! Lifting operations are widely used in the oil and gas industry and certified crane operators are in demand. Trust me, they make good money.

Truck drivers are also in high demand, especially in the United States and Canada, where there is significant onshore oil production. Trucks are needed to move drilling rigs and equipment, transport oil, water and sand. The new fracturing technology that has made the United States self-sufficient in oil production requires continuous sand removal from drilling sites. Drivers are also expected to be mechanics capable of repairing their large trucks. As the US intends to become a net oil exporter for the global community (competing with the likes of Nigeria for markets), there is currently a shortage of truck drivers to achieve its goal.

Tax accountants

The oil and gas industry is technology-driven, which is why specialists in this area are in greatest demand. However, the only non-technical profession to make it into the top 10 is accounting. As oil and gas companies are always an easy target for governments and government ministries in the areas of tariffs, license fees, taxes, and other deductions, the role of experienced oil and gas accountants becomes critical. There is an urgent need for accountants (especially tax ones) who can balance the ledgers and ensure stable profits.

Development engineers

Even though there is no particular order in this list, I think that development engineers actually rank 10th on this list. Development engineers play an important role in the oil and gas industry. Their job is to identify oil and gas reserves and develop strategies to maximize production and conduct simulation studies to ensure optimal production.

To sum up

You probably know that oil and gas jobs within the broader mining sector are in demand. Moreover, the sector is expected to grow faster than average between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There is currently a shortage of experienced workers in this field because it is an industry in which specialized expertise is vital.

The most sought-after positions are generally non-entry-level, such as geophysicists, drilling engineers and supervisors, subsea engineers, marine specialists, and pipeline engineers. People with software and programming skills are also in demand, and all of these positions can come with certification requirements.

The oil and gas industry provides jobs in a variety of settings around the world, but many people find jobs at major energy companies including Chesapeake, Shell and Chevron. There are also small and medium-sized companies and service contractors, most of which do business with these larger corporations.

Some workers work on the drilling sites doing manual work, and some work in refineries or offshore oil rigs. Others work in corporate offices for exploration projects, as lobbyists in government and at universities, helping with research projects.

So as an expat and with compatible education you can easily become one of the workers of that industry in the country you live. Don’t hesitate to make steps for greater changes.

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