Posting in Education
A boom in domestic shale drilling had led to job-hiring frenzy in oil fields throughout North America. But not all segments of the fossil fuels industry are faring so well.
A boom in domestic shale drilling has led to a job-hiring frenzy in shale hotspots throughout North America. But not all segments of the fossil fuels industry are expected to fare as well.
Petroleum pump system operators, the folks who control and operate the machinery used in processing and refining petroleum, is one of 10 disappearing jobs in America, according to data compiled by 24/7 Wall St. from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Matrix. 24/7 Wall St. looked at data on the projected growth or decline of more than 800 different occupations between 2010 and 2020.
The number of petroleum pump system operator jobs is expected to decline 14 percent from 44,200 in 2010 to 38,000 by 2020.
These jobs fall under an important, yet shrinking category: high-income, high school education. The median annual wage of petroleum pump system operators is $60,040, making it the highest income job on the America's 10 Disappearing Jobs List.
Meanwhile, the number of petroleum engineers, who come up with new methods for extracting oil and gas, is expected to rise by 17 percent over the same time period as complex extraction methods become more common, 24/7 Wall St. reported. However, these jobs require a bachelor's degree.
Photo: Flickr user Paul Lowry, CC 2.0
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Interesting stat but some explanation is called for. Are the number of pump system operators declining because there's fewer domestic wells? Or refineries? Or is technology replacing people with machines?
Let me see - the trend is away from untrained, bootstrap learning you pick up in the field and towards a general education with specialized training to be an effective contributor in a 21st century economy. I heard that same message from a young black fellow last night during some sort of acceptance speech - not sure I was paying much attention - but it sounds like the market has already decided he is right. Not sure anyone has figured out yet that if we can have a robot navigate its way to Mars then land on the planet by itself - or have a car drive itself in traffic - we can probably get more robots to handle day to day of pump operations and have one of these eddycated engineers supervise 10 or more of these devices. Least wise that's what the boys at Bain Capital tell me.
Instead of more petroleum engineers working to extract more costly carbon to pump into the atmosphere use the schooling to develop renewable engineering degrees.