The future is bright for those looking for new opportunities in the U.S. oil and gas industry. Rigzone, a leading source of current events for the oil and gas industry, conducted its first national survey in May 2013 to gauge the current hiring environment in domestic O&G. The report — compiled of the responses of 183 recruiters for U.S. energy professionals from a range of O&G sectors — finds that almost half (48%) of hiring managers will be increasing their recruiting efforts for the second half of this year.
The Rigzone Hiring Survey discovered that engineers are overwhelmingly in the highest demand. When asked, “Which new positions do you anticipate recruiting for in the second half of 2013?,” participants provided these top 10 responses:
- Mechanical engineers
- Design engineers
- Petroleum engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Reservoir engineers
- Pipeline engineers
- Health, Safety & Environment managers
- Finance & Accounting talent
- Production engineers
- Process engineers
O&G Talent Pool Shrinks
The Rigzone Hiring Survey also discovered that hiring managers anticipate these notable changes in their companies’ current staffing models:
- 55% will hire more full-time employees in 2013 than last year
- 34% will hire more contractors in 2013 than last year
- 21% will hire more rotational workers in 2013 than last year
The driving factor behind this hiring momentum is the current domestic market environment. A recent report, “Energy 2020: North America, the New Middle East?,” named the U.S. as the world’s fastest-growing producer of oil and natural gas. This current economic situation means more work in energy sectors – all despite the 10% decline in the U.S. rig count (1,771 mid-June 2013 vs. 1,971 mid-June 2012).
Unfortunately for recruiters, the talent pool is limited. For one, the numbers are dwindling as seasoned professionals are retiring in greater numbers. Meanwhile, applicant pools are not growing: 48% of survey respondents reported no increase in the number of candidates, as compared to six months ago. In addition, 33% reported that positions were open longer than last year, and 71% cited receiving fewer qualified applications. U.S. recruiters also face heavy international competition for workers, as many overseas locations are drawing qualified applicants away from the domestic talent pool.
This small talent pool benefits one group, however: the applicants. This low-supply, high-demand situation will result in exceptional compensation. Companies competing for talent can expect to provide very attractive packages in order to entice workers. In fact, 54% of respondents reported that applicants are asking for more money than six months ago, and 39% said they are now negotiating more with applicants than six months ago.
O&G mechanical engineers, who are the particularly sought-after specialists, averaged $102,000 per year during the past 12 months. This represents a 3% increase over the previous year. As The Barrel Blog notes, “What’s interesting about that is that mechanical engineers working in all industries earned closer to $85,000/year. So the same degree can get you nearly 18% more if you apply if to the oil and gas industry.”
Clover specializes in placing professionals in the oil and gas industry. If you are an Operator seeking to engage highly-qualified technical consultants to meet your project requirements, contact Jeff.W@clovergs.com.
If you are a Petroleum Engineer, Reservoir Engineer, Drilling Engineer, Completions Engineer, Geologist, Geophysicist and all Project Support Services roles looking for opportunities in the Exploration and Production sector, or just want to be kept up to date on new opportunities, send your resume in complete confidence to Chris.S@clovergs.com.