A new American Petroleum Institute (API) study concluded that many of tomorrow’s careers, including those in the oil and natural gas industry, will require training in a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) discipline.

In the natural gas and oil industry, more than one million blue-collar job opportunities are projected through 2035.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

API’s more than 625 members include exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.

“The oil and natural gas industry will experience significant turnover and growth in the years to come, expanding career opportunities for women and communities of color,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “This study shows that STEM education is the key to creating a workforce that reflects the many faces of this great nation with skilled workers of all backgrounds.”

“This report will help shape government and education policies that will expand job opportunities and economic development for communities of color,” said Joint Center President Spencer Overton. “The study clearly shows that STEM education can be a primary driver of employment opportunities and economic mobility, especially as the economy evolves over the next decade. Energy is a growing sector, and it is critical that the future energy workforce reflect the diversity of our nation.”

In 2015, millennials accounted for 34 percent of direct industry employment. That share is projected to rise to 41 percent over the next decade.

In addition to the millions of jobs already supported by the industry, consulting firm IHS projects that through 2035 nearly 1.9 million direct job opportunities will be available in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries.

This includes close to 707,000 job opportunities projected to be filled by African Americans and Hispanics, and more than 290,000 projected to be filled by women.

A significant number of these positions will require strong skills in the STEM disciplines across all education levels.

Highlights from the new report:

  • A STEM bachelor’s degree nearly doubles the likelihood of working in the oil and natural gas industry and earning a degree in an industry-specific or related field increases the likelihood of working in the industry by three to seven times.
  • STEM skills are important at every education level. It is estimated that nearly half of all STEM jobs do not require a four-year degree and that a third of all STEM jobs are in blue-collar occupations. This is especially significant in the natural gas and oil industry, where more than one million blue-collar job opportunities are projected through 2035.
  • Almost without exception, across all education levels, degree majors, gender, race, ethnicity and occupation types, those who work in the oil and natural gas industry earn more than those who do not.

To find careers in the oil and natural gas industry, visit Oil & Gas Workforce to connect with opportunities for jobs, education, certification, and training in this growing industry.

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