Oil exploration, both onshore and off, creates job demand

Skilled managers and employees for the specialized industry of offshore oil exploration can be hard to come by, according to Reuters. In some areas, such as Asia, a lack of workers is preventing companies from being able to develop projects.

Wyn Hames, a British citizen now living in Singapore, started a recruiting firm that places workers in oil rig jobs. He said not only is there a shortage of people with the skills and backgrounds needed for the oil industry, but if these workers do exist, they are often living in an area not close to oil extraction projects, according to the Reuters article.

However, the demand for oil rig workers is what has helped make these jobs among the best-paid positions.

"The amount of money they are making an hour is just mind-boggling now, just five years ago they were making just half of that," Johnathan Roberts, an operations managers for the Norway-based energy company Standard Drilling, told Reuters.

Roberts began working on an oil rig for $5 an hour about twenty years ago. He told Reuters his salary more than doubled in 1999 during a labor shortage similar to the one taking place today. Roberts now makes about $500,000 a year working in Singapore.

In Ohio, where the Utica Shale is located, oil rig operators and other field workers, like welders and truck drivers, may see a pay increase due to the demand for labor, The News Messenger reported. Drilling rigs in Ohio grew from nine in March to near 20 by June 1 and anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 workers will be needed for current and future development.

Oil industry growth is explored at PennEnergy's Research area.

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