When it comes to working in the oil and gas industry, everyone has to start somewhere!
But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to start on the bottom rung in the oilfield, especially if you have the education to take on more defined roles.
If you have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, now is the time to get your foot in the door! Here’s some ways that you can find an entry-level mechanical engineering job:
The Role of Mechanical Engineers in the Oil and Gas Industry
In the oil and gas industry, mechanical engineers often design, develop, install and maintain mechanical equipment and machinery. This may include pumps, turbines and engines involved in onshore or offshore production sites.
While their main role is to work directly with machinery, they are also responsible for safety, quality and reliability, making sure all activities comply with safety regulations.
Mechanical engineers can work for a variety of companies such as operators, engineer contractors and engineering consultancies. They are often part of a large team of engineers but also work closely with other areas of engineering such as electrical and construction.
What Are Entry-Level Mechanical Engineering Jobs?
It’s hard to pin down exactly what an entry-level mechanical engineering job is since most job postings don’t use terms like “entry-level” or “junior engineer”.
However, if you know how to read the job descriptions, you can tease out which qualifications are referring to entry-level positions.
Most companies will ask for more experience and education than they are actually looking for. They are merely describing the “perfect” candidate.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to apply to positions that ask for up to five years of experience - it could be that the combination of your skills and past experience satisfies the requirements of the employer.
For instance, a strong set of technical skills (such as CAD and CAE software) and a strong grasp of basic math and statistics are ideal for companies seeking mechanical engineers.
How to Become a Mechanical Engineer
Even though there are entry-level positions for budding mechanical engineers in the oil and gas industry, the minimum educational requirement is typically a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related technical degree.
While certification is not required to work in the oil and gas industry as a mechanical engineer, it does demonstrate to companies that you have technical competence and knowledge.
Also, in order to fulfill some mechanical engineer positions, you may have to be licensed.
Mechanical Engineer Career Opportunities
When it comes to being a mechnical engineer in the oil and gas industry, there are many opportunities when it comes to building a successful career.
Here are some career paths available for mechanical engineers:
1. Rotating Equipment Engineer
Rotating Equipment Engineers (REE) require knowledge about rotating equipment such as turbines, pumps, engines and compressors. They are responsible for designing and developing rotating equipments in line with the requirements of the drilling project.
2. Mechanical Construction Engineer
Mechanical Construction Engineers are responsible for mechanicals works such as piping. They also oversee personnel in the field to ensure compliance with standards and regulations is followed.
3. Operation and Maintenance Engineer
The job of the Operation and Maintenance Engineer involves operating and maintaining oil and gas plants as well as facilitating shutdowns, turnarounds and expansions.
4. QA/QC Engineer
A QA/QC Engineer (Quality Assurance/Quality Control Engineer) ensures the quality and standards of products being produced. This includes participating in each stage of the petroleum product’s creation from development to packaging.
5. Design Engineer
Design Engineers design mechanical components of equipment that is used by technicians. They do this by combining operational requirements with compliance and regulations.
The Earning Potention of Mechanical Engineers
It goes without saying that entry-level mechanical engineering jobs are going to pay out on the low end of the income scale for this position. However, the earning potential is worth noting.
In the United States, for instance, the average Mechanical Engineer makes around $88,000 annually with the lowest earnings averaging $70,000 and the highest earnings around $111,000.
Alternatively, in Canada, the median average salary is $58,000 with entry-level positions starting at around $37,000 and the highest earners bringing in $91,000.
Keep in mind, however, that with our ever-changing economy there’s always potential for these average rates to increase over time.
The Door is Open!
It’s time you stuck your foot in! With your knowledge and skills, it’s time to get started as a Mechanical Engineer in the oil and gas industry.
Want to learn more? Check out our informative articles where you can learn more about the opportunities available in the oil and gas industry.