Industry Looks Promising for Engineers
Whether or not the oil and gas market is up or down, engineers always have a place in the industry.
According to Forbes.com, the U.S. has approximately 1.6 million engineering jobs that pay $42 per hour in median wages. Civil engineers account for the most jobs of any engineering field and are followed closely by mechanical engineers and industrial engineers. In addition to these specific engineers, electrical and electronics engineers make up two-thirds of the American engineering workforce.
From 2010-2014, job growth has been recorded in double digits for positions in industries in petroleum, biomedical, industrial and mining/geological engineers. Mechanical engineers are also the upswing, with 21,500 new jobs since 2010. Engineering jobs as a whole have grown 7 percent
Keith Wolf, managing director at Murray Resources, said his company has seen hiring for a wide variety of positions including mechanical engineers, field service technicians, designers, project engineers, reliability engineers, electrical engineers, and technical sales engineers. Jobseekers with strong technical skills combined with sales aptitude are in particularly high demand at this time, Wolf said.
"Most of our roles are direct hire, though we do see contract opportunities in more of a project-based situation. However, what we are seeing on the direct-hire side is that the hiring process is taking longer than it does in a hotter market," he said.
Gladney Darroh, president of Piper-Morgan, discussed how civil, mechanical and chemical engineers have broader opportunities, particularly outside of Houston. Petroleum engineers are also still seeing a demand for their positions.
"These may be not in the same numbers as before," Darroh said. "Companies are being very judicious in what they're trying to do and are thinking three to five years down the road. They know the industry is going to improve. Experienced hires who find themselves without jobs are more likely to find something on the contract side. There are also opportunities abroad."
RandstandUSA.com recently published its list of Engineering Jobs in Demand for 2015 as determined by industry expert recruiters. Its predictions are based on field market research in addition to analysis of 2015 market trends and economic projections. The national engineering job market overview lists the top three most in-demand engineering jobs as mechanical, electrical and quality engineers. There are more than 130,000 current engineering job openings to fill across the U.S. with an average of 17 candidates per job opening.
Consistent hiring is being done in the midstream market, with still a good amount in downstream, Wolf said.
"Companies still have to refine and transport oil and gas regardless of the price. We're still seeing a good amount of hiring activity in downstream," he said.
Getting noticed in a competitive job marke takes some innovative thinking.
Darroh said to search outside the box for opportunities.
"The best plan is to always utilize a full-court press," Darroh said. "Use all of the avenues at your disposal beyond company websites and job boards. Attend professional meetings, seminars and mixers. Learn about new things going on. It can be timely. This is your chance to stay connected with the industry, stay engaged and alert of business news. You have to stay active."
Wolf said that having a profile on LinkedIn is a "must" for job seekers.
"Not only are you more likely to be found by a corporate or agency recruiter, but if you do connect with a company, that's one of the first places they're going to look. If you have a complete profile that details your experience and professional certifications, it's a living, online resume that's working for you even when you're not actively searching," he said.
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- September 28, 2015
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