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Transferring from oil and gas into an offshore wind job

Peter Thoroughgood our consultant managing the role
Published on 22 December 2022

The face of energy is changing. The world is waking up to the grim reality of climate change, and fossil fuels are fast falling out of fashion. Instead, renewable energy is finally getting its time in the spotlight after record breaking investment in 2022. But what does this mean for those who work in fossil fuels? Thankfully, even if you’ve spent an entire career in oil and gas, your skills and expertise can be put to excellent use elsewhere, with offshore wind being a favourite amongst professionals leaving the field. So, if you’re currently in the oil and gas industry, here is why you should consider transitioning into a new career in offshore wind.

Oil and gas jobs are falling

For several reasons, the past few years have not been a good time for oil and gas. A shock pandemic saw demand for petrol, diesel and jet fuel plummet to record lows in 2022, and for the first time in history, gas supplies outweighed its demand. With fuel prices plunging, the industry had no other choice than to make cuts. Oil companies across the world shut down wells, laid off thousands of workers, merged with other companies to stay afloat, or declared bankruptcy. In 2020, BP alone reported cutting 10,000 jobs across its worldwide oil and gas divisions.

The recent Russia-Ukraine war forced oil and gas companies into further despair. Boycotts of Russian imports have forced countries, particularly in the EU, to take stock and responsibility of where they source their fuel and its environmental impact. Oil and gas reserves are running out, and to protect the environment, the narrative is clear: we must transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Needless to say, oil and gas has had a volatile couple of years – and its future is wavering.

Offshore wind jobs are growing

Despite a small falter during the pandemic, renewable energy jobs as a whole are skyrocketing. Year on year, the industry observes record growth, and an area that is doing particularly well is offshore wind. With well established markets across the globe, offshore wind has been named as a key vehicle for many countries to curb their carbon footprint and reach clean energy targets. Recently joining the offshore wind movement is the US, with 12 offshore wind farms planned for operation by 2036, and a promised 83,000 new jobs generated to support the farms.

In the UK, the government is driving hard to wean off its gas supply and is looking to offshore wind as an alternative. By 2030, the UK’s offshore wind capacity is targeted to grow 5 times its current size. As such, the offshore wind workforce is expected to treble, reaching 100,000 heads in field.

Naturally, offshore wind jobs in the UK – and across the globe – are aplenty. Offshore wind farms are huge projects that demand huge, diversely skilled workforces to oversee planning, installation, operation and maintenance. There are many exciting career paths on offer, as well as excellent job security in a stable market. The good news is, for those in oil and gas, the skills you have are considered very valuable to the industry.

Your skills transfer well into offshore wind

People who have built their careers in oil and gas tend to have the skillsets and experience that is required for a successful career in offshore wind. Including:

Electrical Engineering: An understanding of high voltage electrical equipment is critical in both sectors. If you have experience with electricals or have held an electrical engineering job within an oil and gas environment, you will be a great fit for offshore wind.

Health and Safety: Both industries share similar safety protocols. Working in an offshore environment with specialist machinery requires a refined set of health and safety skills, as well as a safety-first mindset.

Civil Engineering: Offshore technologies and processes tend to be used extensively across both oil and gas and offshore wind. The construction, management and engineering skills needed to execute this tend to be very similar, but a particularly valued specialism that is in high demand is civil engineering.

Specialist Offshore Knowledge: Other specialist knowledge and experience within subsea, marine and geothermal disciplines are also highly valuable within the offshore wind space.

View here to see the latest survey & marine jobs.

Renewable Energy is the future

The future can never be certain, but one thing is for sure: renewable energy is crucial for climate recovery. Even some of the world’s biggest oil companies are waking up to the fact and investing in renewable energy projects - particularly offshore wind. In fact, by the end of the decade, some of oil’s biggest players could be running more offshore wind farms than oil rigs. Now has never been a better time to start a career in offshore wind. Jobs in offshore wind provide longevity, security and plenty of opportunity to climb the career ladder whilst the industry booms.

Do you want to make the move? Quanta are here to help. Our Renewable Energy recruitment team partner with some of the world’s leading offshore wind companies and our team are experts at findings roles to fit your needs. Check out our offshore wind jobs or speak to a member of the team today.