The oil and natural gas industry can be a natural fit for veterans looking to pursue meaningful civilian careers by applying the skills developed during military service. The industry values the knowledge, skill and experience that veterans bring to their careers, and consistently employs a high proportion of veterans.

The oil and natural gas industry consists of three segments: Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream. Closely tied to the oil and natural gas industry is the petrochemical industry. These different segments include the life cycle of oil and natural gas from exploration, production and transportation through refining and delivery of oil and natural gas for use by consumers, and the creation of a wide range of consumer and industrial materials using oil and natural gas products.

With nearly 185,000 veterans employed in 2014, the oil and natural gas industry offers career opportunities for veterans in all sectors of the industry and across all regions of the country.

Veterans’ training, education and work experience align well with the technical skill requirements in many sectors of the industry. The operating environment of the oil and gas industry also requires other, nontechnical skills that veterans acquire in the course of their military service.

Technical Skills

Veterans seeking to translate their military skills and experience to pursue careers in the oil and natural gas industry may need to take some additional training or earn specific credentials that are recognized in different sectors of the industry. However, veterans also need to be aware that the technical skills they gained through the training and work experience acquired during military service provide an excellent starting point for many industry careers. Technical skills valued by the industry include:

  • High quality military job training that provides foundational career skills,
  • Continuous skill development through on-the-job mentoring and ongoing technical training,
  • Training and work experience operating state of the art technology and equipment.

Non-technical Skills

Perhaps more than many other industries, the oil and natural gas industry offers career opportunities that call for workers who can adapt quickly to change, operate safely under diverse conditions and contribute to fast-paced team efforts. Military service prepares veterans to meet these requirements.

  • Veterans have learned to stay focused on objectives while adapting to the changes in missions, requirements, and operating locations that are required in the course of military service.
  • Veterans have experience operating in volatile environments in which safety is paramount.
  • Veterans have the capacity to perform effectively when required to work independently, along with the capacity to contribute their efforts to the effective performance of diverse teams.
  • Veterans have experience operating under physically demanding and rigorous conditions.
  • Veterans have had opportunities to develop key interpersonal skills, including communication, leadership and inclusion of personnel from diverse backgrounds.
  • Veterans have a mature work ethic based on core values such as personal integrity, respect for authority, loyalty to the organization and the mission, and commitment to excellence.

For more about job opportunities for veterans, visit Veterans Military Pipeline or

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