As new energy resources are being discovered and tapped into across the country, more jobs are in the pipeline for American workers in the skilled trades. Industry leaders in oil and gas are expecting major market and job growth through 2014. Oil and natural gas extraction is a huge production, entailing facilities construction, road construction, pipe system fabrication and installation, system monitoring implementation, security patrols, pipeline construction, and more.
Geographic Areas of Pipeline & Oil Expansion
The main regions that are bringing in major growth for the industry are the Marcellus, Utica, and Bakken shale. Marcellus Shale extends from New York to Virginia with major tracts running through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. A few thousand feet beneath the Marcellus Shale lies the Utica Shale layer, covering much of the same area. It has an enormous reach, lying under most of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. It also reaches into parts of Canada (Quebec and Ontario) and Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. Bakken Shale reaches down from Canada (Saskatchewan) into Montana and North Dakota.
Welders and Pipefitters Needed for Infrastructure
One of the largest challenges faced by industry leaders is tracking down resources, particularly for qualified personnel. There are more workers retiring from skilled labor positions than there are to replace them. With a limited workforce, competition for skilled labor can be high. Funding for these projects is there, but finding welders, pipefitters, and other laborers to complete these projects is harder to arrange.
Pipeline work itself is demanding for skilled workers, so finding willing workers is a challenge of its own. Working on a pipeline involves significant travel, long hours, and long periods of time away from home. Because of these demands, recruiting isn’t just limited to advanced-level engineers anymore, but also hones in on skilled labor, like pipe welding and pipefitting.
Investment in A New Generation of Pipe Welders and Pipefitters
As more welders and pipefitters reach retirement, they need to be replaced by a fresh generation of workers. Because new skilled workers aren’t entering the market as quickly as experienced workers are retiring, there is a great opportunity for young workers to train for a career that both cannot be internationally outsourced and is in high-demand. Pipe welding courses are a great place to start for people considering entering the industry.
To start training for a career in the skilled trades, contact a Tulsa Welding School Admissions Representative for more information on pipe welding training courses.
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