Why are veterans well-suited for oilfield jobs?

Veterans often have experience operating heavy machinery, which makes them a natural fit for jobs in oil and gas production.

With a large number of military service members coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a growing amount of concern about re-integrating these veterans into civilian life, including making sure that they are able to find good jobs.

Technical positions involved in the operation of oil and gas wells may be a natural fit for many of these returning heroes. They can bring a lot to the oilfield, as they often have considerable experience handling heavy machinery and are used to working in an environment where safety and attention to detail are key factors.

In a previous post, this blog recounted the story of U.S. Navy veteran George Purdy, who settled on working in the domestic oil and gas sector after spending years maintaining weapons systems on naval vessels guarding the Strait of Hormuz – a key passageway for international oil shipments from the Persian Gulf.

After leaving the military, Purdy studied the operation and maintenance of oil production equipment in the ShaleNET program at Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania, where there is a booming natural gas production sector. The U.S. Department of Labor, which provides financial support to the Westmoreland program, touted Purdy's experience in its monthly newsletter.

Well-paying jobs in the energy industry enable veterans to achieve key milestones in their civilian lives, such as homeownership. A strong majority – 75 percent – of veterans surveyed by Harris Interactive on behalf of Century 21 pointed to buying a house as "one of the most important things" they want to accomplish after returning from duty, citing the benefits of establishing their own household and stabilizing their financial situation.

There are multiple public and private programs aimed at encouraging the employment of veterans, including several that specifically target the energy industry. As companies strive to hire the best people to manage their operations, they should also ensure that they are putting the best technology in place to achieve the best results.

The hydraulic jet pump can be a particularly valuable solution, as it offers power and versatility that other artificial lift products may not be able to match, particularly at sites where there are issues with well casing.