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Discipline Engineers – Now is the Time to Get Out of the Energy Sector!

With the price of crude oil, state of the economy and the number of unemployed professionals, I have recently been speaking to many Engineering specialists who have become discouraged and perhaps a little lost in their search for employment within the Energy sector.

Many of them are still looking for work exclusively within the Energy, and for those of us who work in Energy Capital Cities (such as Houston), we sometimes forget that there are other industry sectors which are a little less “Boom or Bust”.

Following the market downtown which has been likened to the slump of the 1980s, the Oil and Gas industry has seen many cuts in staffing and salaries over the past year in almost all areas.

But whether your discipline is in Civil, Structural, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, THERE ARE OPTIONS other than Energy where your skills and experience will be welcomed.

While it is true that many jobs within the Energy field have inflated salary bands, which may have attracted you in the first instance, it is a complete misconception that other industries within in the Engineering discipline are incapable of paying comparable salaries for the right candidate.

What Options are Available?

With the significant amount of civil expansion going on in the United States, there is a massive need for Civil Engineering Professionals to focus on Transportation, Public Infrastructure, and Large Scale Residential Projects.

These individuals design and create the routes we take to work, they sign off on the structural security of the buildings we work in everyday, and they work with leaders within our government to plan out what is next for our cities, roads, and people.

One can work directly for the government administration they are supporting (I.E. The Department of Transportation), or work for a private consulting firm to support the needs of said affiliate - comparable to how Energy Professionals can work for an Operator, a Service Company, EPC, etc.

There are multiple avenues which one can pursue, and if you look at the longevity of your career, there are many ways in which you can diversify now.

Many Architectural Companies carry Engineering Professionals on staff to support the wide range of projects that they have waiting in the wing which are nearing execution.

Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Structural Engineers, ALL of these niche disciplines are useful to consulting firms.

You cannot get to the 31st floor quickly without an elevator, cannot turn on the lights without an electrical circuit running efficiently, and most definitely cannot work safely in a building that is structurally sound!

With that, we are reminded that everywhere we go we are surrounded by industries which require a wide variety of technical professionals.

If you can’t stand sitting at a desk, looking at and signing off on designs all day, Geotechnical, Remediation, and Inspection/Testing are probably attractive disciplines to consider. You will be out in the action, working, planning, and executing a wide variety of projects within a plethora of industries.

Your Skills Are In Demand!

Having placed many Engineers who previously worked in the Energy sector into roles in a range of other industries recently, I can tell you that Engineering is a very versatile and in demand skill set. Resilience is an important quality in a recruiter, but personally I find that it can be an equally important quality in technical professionals as well.

If you’re considering your options, contact me today. We can look at the growing industries in your region to see where you can start a lucrative job where, as an experienced Engineer, you can make a difference and develop your skills even further.

Projects come and go, oil booms and busts, but the need for talented, professional, and licensed engineers is forever.

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Written by Laetan Gaspard
Discipline Engineering Recruitment Specialist

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