Worker Shortage in the Energy Services Sector

Just yesterday I discussed investment opportunities in the oil and gas services sector as drilling is forecasted to rise significantly in 2011. It looks like there’s also employment opportunities in this field per The Globe and Mail.

Following the economic downturn of 2008, oil field services companies had massive layoffs. In the past 2 years, many of these workers simply recycled themselves into new jobs abandoning the industry. Now that demand is rising, drilling companies are looking to make up for the fall in revenue of the past 2 years except that they aren’t finding many workers available to man the drilling rigs.

Drilling jobs make up 1 in 2 jobs in the oilfield services sector. The hourly rates for drill workers range from $24 an hour for a lease hand to $40 for a driller. Before you get all excited about working in the patch, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Rig work is dirty and dangerous. You will be working in remote areas, outside in the cold.

There are no guarantees of stability in this field. Keep in mind that just as the companies turned the taps off in 2008, they will do it again in the future if commodity prices plunge for whatever reason. The high pay will be averaged down if you factor in downtime as you won’t be drilling daily during a year.

This lifestyle may be attractive to some but beware if you are married with a family. In my opinion it is not worth the money especially if you have kids. Spend time with your kids; watch them grow, be part of their lives since time flies. Don’t put your family life in jeopardy as you can get the same salary in different fields closer to home. On the other hand if you’re young, unattached and hearing the call of the patch, go for it!

Are you familiar with rig work? What would you like to add based on your experience?