A vast opportunity exists for the natural gas and oil industry to attract, retain, and develop lifelong careers for veterans in the industry. Over the next four years, the Department of Defense estimates that approximately one million service members will transition out of the military. In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that there are more than 12 million veterans under the age of 65 living in the U.S. These veterans and military service members are highly trained in a wide variety of occupational areas; their extensive skills attained from their military training and experience make them ideal candidates to fill the projected 1.9 million job opportunities available in the natural gas and oil industry.
With such a wide range of jobs requiring a variety of skill sets the natural gas and oil industry can be a natural fit for veterans looking to apply the skills they developed during their military service in a civilian setting. Over the last several years the number of veterans working in the natural gas and oil and petrochemical industries has been growing with nearly 185,000 veterans employed in 2014.
The natural gas and oil and petrochemical industries consistently employ larger shares of veterans than both the government and the private sector, as shown in the figure below. While the share of veteran employment in the industry declines slightly over time, similar to the shares of veterans in government and the private sector, the total number of veterans employed by the industry increases over time.
For both the military trained candidate and for civilian employers, translating military skills to civilian occupations can be very difficult. That is why we created the Veterans Energy Pipeline, a tool that helps military service members and veterans understand how their military training and experience might help them qualify for jobs in the oil and natural gas industry. They can learn about energy careers and use the military occupation search to search by military occupation code for related jobs in natural gas and oil industry. Natural gas and oil industry employers can learn about military careers, including the military workforce structure and military training and education. They can also use the civilian occupation search to search by one of the top natural gas and oil industry jobs and find what military occupations match these jobs.