From: Jack Gerard, API
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Energy Careers a Smart Bet for Graduates
Date: Wed May 28 14:46:09 MDT 2014
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    May 28, 2014  

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    Energy Careers a Smart Bet for Graduates      

Dear Scott,

There’s never been a better time to pursue a career in energy.  The oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and has been adding jobs at a rate 40 times faster than the broader economy between 2007 and 2012. Energy jobs also pay well.  The average oil and natural gas sector wage was almost $14,000 above the national average in 2012, and jobs in the upstream sector pay seven times the federal minimum wage.

Opportunities will continue to grow in the coming years, including for women and minorities. A recent report by API and IHS Global details a bright future for energy jobs:

  • 1.3 million new job opportunities in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries by 2030

  • More than 400,000 job opportunities for African-American and Hispanic workers

  • 185,000 job openings filled by women

Additionally, significant numbers of new workers will be needed to fill existing jobs created by the “crew change,” which is a 7- to 10-year period when roughly half of the industry’s current technical personnel will retire.

While 63 percent of new job opportunities will be in blue collar professions – providing opportunities for workers with a high school diploma and some post-secondary training – there are great opportunities for workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively referred to as STEM. Unfortunately, our nation is lagging behind in cultivating these vital fields. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.

Encouraging future workers – particularly women and minorities – to pursue STEM education is vital to ensure we have a workforce capable of continuing America’s 21st century energy renaissance.


Jack Gerard
President and CEO

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