blog image

What Are Companies Looking For In Oil And Energy Workers?

Reading Time - 4mins


“The driller of tomorrow will have tremendous leadership capabilities, and will be able to mentor, coach, and motivate his crew.”

Mark Scholz, President, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.


Energy companies worldwide continue to value a broad range of occupations such as engineers, technology experts, and professionals working in supporting fields like project management, quality assurance, health, safety, security, and environment. there is a growing opportunity for short-term contracts, remote workers, and flexible positions as employers are using new ways to attract top performers.

To answer the question, "What are companies really looking for?", we must take a look at a report sponsored by the Government of Canada on "Shifting Priorities and A Shifting Workforce" (popularly referred to as the future of work)

The report identified some must-haves for the modern Oil and Gas worker, and these include (in no particular order)

  • Be highly skilled at numeracy, reading, communicating and problem-solving.

  • Work in a team to plan and execute projects of all sizes.

  • Be aware of the regulatory and compliance implications of new and planned operations.

  • Understand the cost implications associated with the workers' actions.

  • Be comfortable with technology.

  • Be innovative.

  • Strive for continuous improvement.

  • Be able to negotiate successfully.


If you are just starting out as an entry-level worker in the industry. Many roles don’t need special education – the skills can be learned on the job. This is especially true for operational roles, where workers start as “green hands” with the aim to work their way up as they learn.

Get The Right Certificates

Studying courses in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be useful as a recruitment tool, to help you get your foot in the door. Qualifications in mathematics, physics, geology, and engineering (chemical, petroleum, mechanical, electrical, and environmental) are common in the industry.

However, the quickest way to secure an O&G role is by completing a specific practical certificate, such as an oil rig training program. These are designed to supply HR and recruiters with a supply of certified employees, ready to work.

To work offshore, you need to be over the age of 18. You also need to have an offshore medical certificate and emergency response training. Once you’ve been offered a position offshore, you’ll need to undertake Basic Offshore Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET).


Attention to detail.

Many clients require that as an offshore worker, you need to have good attention to detail. Some offshore work can be dangerous, so you’ll need to have a thorough approach and be able to follow health and safety guidelines. You’ll need to work well with others and have good observation and reporting skills.


Minimum Requirements

Also, don’t forget the minimum requirements. As a rule of thumb, prospective employees require a clean driver’s license. They also need you to pass a drug test and a physical test. Due to the often-physical nature of offshore work, you’ll need to be physically fit and able to stay calm in stressful situations. In senior positions, you’ll need to demonstrate strong leadership skills and the ability to monitor your own and others’ performance.


From Industry Veterans

In an interview hosted by insightOut following the newly announced collaboration between NOV and Schlumberger, David Reid - CTO and CMO of NOV and Rajeev Sonthalia, President of Digital & Integration of Schlumberger revealed valuable insight from their combined over 65 years of experience regarding skills they would be looking out for in oil and gas workers of the future.

Schlumberger is doubling down on digital transformation. Their vision is to be able to drill wells without anyone on the Rig. There are many steps to take to get there and the driving force is the company wants to reduce Non-Productive time.

Remote Capability is something that is very possible for jobs. Jobs will change and relocate, and the industry will be better for it as it will be safer and more efficient.

David Reid answered the questions "What skills will Oil and Gas Companies will be seeking in the future when it comes to automation.

"We used to say you need to have coding skills but most people coming up have basic levels of coding. Although the obvious digital skills are there, I would say."

  • The Understanding of Operations is one of the things we are going to struggle with in the future.

  • Field experience. We have data scientists who understand how the data works but lacking practical skills, petroleum skills, and drilling skills.


Schlumberger's President of Digital & Integration, Rajeev Sonthalia recommended that oil and gas workers need to:

  • Develop strong T-Shaped profiles (Strong in their domains) but expand their domain knowledge, not only workers who have their domain knowledge but develop digital skills.

  • In Summary, either domain-people(Technically skilled) learn the digital skills or digital-people learn the domain skills.

  • Oil and Gas workers need to be multi-shaped in their learning.

  • Collaborate better. In the real world, one individual cannot learn everything, it's becoming increasingly important that oil and gas workers know how to collaborate better on both the softer skills as well as the technical.

  • Understand how automation technologies can solve the time-consuming problem of risk management - where systems are designed digitally and executed digitally to reduce risk.

There is a lot of buzz around the concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Automation, Deep Learning etc. but Mr. Rajeev concluded by saying:

'We are interested in workers who have skills that can translate AI, ML, Data science, automation and many other "Buzzwords" into a revenue-generating model that brings value to everybody - and this is the big one'


Enter Manup

Manup is a purpose-built workforce marketplace for the energy industry dedicated to helping companies efficiently find, vet, train, and mobilize workers on-demand while expanding economic opportunities for the men and women working on mission-critical energy projects that power the world. We partner with companies developing the technologies that will shape the energy sources of the future. Using our intelligent platform, we will ensure a trained, safe, skilled, and inclusive workforce provide services on our client's projects as they develop affordable and clean energy projects. Join Manup at to gain access to immediate energy projects globally.


About the Author, Fisayo Adeyemi

Fisayo works in Business Operations at Manup and has a strong interest in the oil and energy industry. His educational background is in Petroleum Engineering from Covenant University and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: For Business Application from UTexasAccording to Shifting Priorities and A Shifting Workforce, Government of Canada (2015)