Over the past few years, America has surged to become one of the world’s energy superpowers, producing more oil and natural gas than Saudi Arabia and Russia. This has been important for our energy security and our national security, but it was been equally important for our country’s economic strength.
Currently, the oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million American jobs.
With pro-energy development policies in place, the oil and gas industry could support 1-2 million additional American jobs by 2035. And we know that these are quality, good-paying jobs with annual salaries that average $100,000 -- about $50,000 more than the national average.
More jobs means more tax revenue and less of a strain on already-stretched government budgets.
- An estimated 7.1 million jobs are supported by the purchase of goods and services to support energy exploration — including equipment suppliers, construction companies, management specialists and even food service businesses.
- Local employment would benefit with the addition industry jobs, construction jobs, small business growth as well as service and support positions.
- Cities and states will have more income— the money they need to support local and state police and fire departments, schools and critical infrastructure projects.
But that’s only if we have the right pro-energy policies in place.
When veterans look at employment opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry, they see the potential to enter an industry characterized by higher than average wages, a variety of fields in which to specialize, and a commitment to diversity (see Minorities and Women).
The industry supports careers in numerous fields, from mechanic to geophysicist, electrician to soil scientist, and rig equipment operator to petroleum engineer. While the industry offers job opportunities in such highly specialized areas as botanist and marine biologist, equally essential are blue-collar positions such as truck drivers and machinists.
American energy development has the potential to be a key component in keeping, and putting, more Americans and more veterans to work.