Careers Service Occupations

Oil & Gas

Oil and Gas

About

The oil and gas sector has a wide range of opportunities available to graduates, whether in large international companies or small organisations developing specialist technology.

Careers advice

Industry news

Oil and Gas Journal and Oil Online provide news, industry updates, blogs and jobs.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them and sector skills bodies on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

Professional societies/institutes

Research councils and research centres

Sector skills councils/industry associations

Making contacts

Talk to people in the sector to get insight into roles. This can be useful for networking and making speculative applications

You could start with:

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our Energy industry Twitter list.

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events for this sector include Employer Presentations and Recruitment Fairs.

For more events for this sector see External Events

Related sectors

You may also be interested in EngineeringEnvironment or Civil Engineering, Geomatics and Construction

Or see our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

Many large companies offer graduate training schemes. There are opportunities in either technical or commercial roles.

Technical roles

Examples of technical roles that can be found across most sectors of the oil and gas industry include:

You can find more examples of specialist technical roles below.

Commercial roles

Examples of commercial careers include:

Roles

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements:

Drilling engineer

Petroleum engineer

Mining engineer

Minerals surveyor

Quarry manager

Mudlogger

Seismic interpreter

Wellsite geologist

Geochemist

Geophysicist

Geoscientist

Engineering geologist

Exploration geologist

Geophysical data processor

Geological mapper

Commercial diver

Skills employers look for

Employers in this sector look for skills including:

  • an ability to project manage, prioritise tasks, meet deadlines and work with minimum supervision
  • leadership and the ability to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams
  • a logical and methodical approach to problem solving
  • an ability to research, analyse and communicate complex technical data to others
  • flexibility and willingness to work outdoors, offshore, or overseas

Gaining Experience

Finding a job in oil and gas is competitive. Relevant work experience is invaluable in developing expertise and demonstrating your motivation and commitment to this area of work.

Many large recruiters in the oil and gas sectors advertise summer internships or year-long placements. These are usually aimed at students in and above second year of study. Applications open in early autumn and closing dates are usually between December and February.

Examples of companies that offer placements and/or summer internships include:

Work experience opportunities with smaller companies are not always advertised. You may need to contact the employer with a speculative approach.

Professional bodies and research councils also advertise opportunities. See About for a list of organisations.

For more advice, read TARGETjobs Engineering work experience: a beginner's guide and what to do if you can't get find an internship over summer. These are specific to engineering, but offer useful advice for most degree disciplines.

Internships and placements

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch – with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Scholarships, awards and competitions

Finding Jobs

Many large recruiters offer graduate training programmes.

Professional bodies and research councils also advertise opportunities. See About for a list of organisations.

Vacancy sites

Specialist recruitment agencies

Hunter Personnel provide global recruitment for the mining sector.

OilExec look after online recruitment for the oil and gas industry. 

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch - with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

You can also try: