Oil, Gas Needs Experience, Forcing Boomers to Delay Retirement

Oil, Gas Needs Experience, Forcing Boomers to Delay Retirement

New statistics reveal that more and more Americans are delaying retirement and pushing the retirement age from 65 to 80. Furthermore, due to the recent recession and many retirement portfolios plunging, 62 percent of boomers aged 50 to 66 believe that their personal situation will not improve in the next five years, according to a new Executive Action Report from The Conference Board, “Trapped on the Worker Treadmill”.

“It’s disconcerting that the two years in which the U.S. economy seemed to finally, if fitfully, turn the corner also left so many more workers compelled to change their retirement plans late in their careers,” said Gad Levanon, director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board and co-author of the report. “This may benefit some businesses and industries, by delaying their retirement can be a significant obstacle to the many companies seeking to cut costs. Mapping out the implications of the trend for individual firms and the economy as a whole means first understanding the drivers behind workers’ retirement decisions.”

Workers in the baby boom era who’ve experienced a job loss, salary cut or significant decline in home price are much more likely to have plans for delaying retirement, according to the report. And statistics show that employees have not retired at the projected rates, with hiring reductions occurring, employees not leaving jobs for other opportunities at the same levels as in previous years.

As for the energy industry, the size of the workforce has decreased by a little more than 11,000 jobs since 2009, stated 2011 Gaps in the Energy Workforce Pipeline Survey compiled by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD).

Excluding positions in the nuclear sector, the changes in key occupations between 2009 and 2011 reflected:

  • The number of engineers increase by almost 3.6 percent
  • Line workers decreased by .5 percent
  • Transmission and Distribution Technicians decreased by 1.1 percent
  • Plant operators decreased by 5.6 percent

The average age of the energy workforce has increased from 45.7 in 2006 to 46.1 in 2010 while the number of employees aged 53 and above is increasing, reflecting both the number of mid-career hires and the number of employees who are waiting to retire, the report found.

“Given the recent crash in the economy over the last several years, people are actually staying gainfully employed for longer periods of times in order to replenish the money they lost in the 401k and stock price declines,” Michelle Seale, a leader in Deloitte’s Human Capital practice for oil and gas out of Houston, told Rigzone. “That’s the good news. The bad news is that eventually, they will retire and there is a significant gap in the pipeline of talent to replenish that pool.”


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Michael | Jun. 27, 2013
@ Michael if you want to join the oil and gas industy and you have naval experience, you need to move to an oil and gas offshore hub. the Louisiana offshore oil and gas industry is booming. Drive down highway 90 and there is one billboard after another with job offer after job off.

Ernest T. Rowland-Douglas | Jun. 23, 2013
On medical and HSE reasons, the idea of extending age from 60 to 80yrs in the Oil and Gas industry is a DANGEROUS development. Technologies are developing, the younger generation are most suitable to adapt and implement such high risk projects. I have been in the Oil Industry from 1990 and worked in Aberdeen, Manchester,Nigeria,Ghana and currently in Liberia. Experience has shown that moving out of the industry to Education Sector,where these wealth of Experiences should be taught in more practical and result oriented teachings as Instructors is safer,more rewarding than hanging in in Senility.

Rick Morgan | Jun. 21, 2013
Robin, I disagree. As an experienced O&G professional with more than 35 years of industry experience, I find that the new HR folks are looking for paper certifications, i.e. MBA, PMP, etc., in lieu of the actual experience and hard won knowledge from having been there and done that before such certifications existed. Its kind of frustrating, but also almost comical in some ways. Too often, these newly hired experts will be on the phone or button- holing others in similar circumstance at conferences, and asking for advice. But they dont ask for advice, they pose a hypothetical question, such as How would you handle this situation/sceanario?. Ive gotten to the point where I simply quote a consulting cost equal to one years salary and wait for an response. They mostly seem to walk away with a blank stare, looking for salvation elsewhere.

Michael Curran | Jun. 20, 2013
I am looking for an entry level Oil and Gas position. Everyone wants someone with experience. How does one get experience if companies will not hire someone w/o experience. I am willing to work long hours. I am a veteran of the United States Naval Reserve. I am looking for a position in Ohio. Please help.


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