Many energy roles are ideal for engineers or those with scientific qualifications, but graduates from all disciplines can find jobs with the sector's large organisations
You'll work on land or offshore as you plan and supervise the drilling of oil and gas wells. Involved throughout the process, from initial well design to testing, completion and abandonment, you'll work closely with geologists and geoscientists to monitor progress, safety, and environmental protection.
Day-to-day tasks include keeping track of costs to evaluate the commercial viability of the project, ensuring wells are properly maintained, administering drilling contracts, and taking steps to return a site to its natural state if drilling is not pursued.
At a large oil company you'll start by managing a single well, but you can quickly be handed responsibility for significant budgets. With seniority, you'll oversee multiple wells before potentially moving into management or independent consultancy.
Get an insight into working as a drilling engineer.
Whether you're working with fossil fuels or renewable energy sources, you'll design and test machinery and improve existing processes. You could be tasked with reducing emissions, minimising environmental damage, or researching new ways to generate energy.
Responsibilities encompass carrying out site inspections and surveys, designing and selecting equipment, adapting lab experiments to large-scale industrial processes, managing costs and revenues, and keeping up to date with relevant legislation and environmental standards.
As your career progresses, you'll have the chance to move into a senior engineering or managerial role. Alternative routes include environmental consultancy, self-employment or lecturing on energy engineering in higher education.
Read the energy engineer job profile to learn more.
You'll be responsible for planning, regulating and monitoring energy use, as well as introducing new policies and changes where they will improve efficiency. Waste management and sustainable development also come under your remit.
To achieve this, you'll develop, coordinate and implement energy consumption strategies, promote sustainability and the use of renewable resources, negotiate contracts with suppliers, keep accurate records, and carry out inspections.
Discover more about what it takes to become an energy manager.
It's your job to analyse natural conditions, such as soil, rock and groundwater, to identify and deal with the ways these geological factors might affect engineering works. This could be in preparation for a major construction project.
You'll be tasked with collating data and producing reports, using specialised computer software to assist with the design of built structures, supervising site and ground investigations, advising on potential problems, and planning field investigations.
The two main routes for career progression are to continue in a technical role with the aim of becoming a senior engineering geologist, or to move into engineering management.
Explore the role of engineering geologist.
Your advice and assessments help clients to minimise or eliminate environmental damage, or ensure they comply with relevant regulations. Typically employed by a consultancy firm, you could be a generalist or specialise in areas such as waste management, flood risk, or renewable energy.
Carrying out desk-based research as well as field surveys, you'll put together reports to share your findings and provide advice on the best course of action based on the results. In addition, you must maintain your awareness of how legislation affects projects.
Get more detail on a career as an environmental consultant.
You'll study chemical elements in rocks and minerals, with your research informing oil exploration, toxic waste clean-up, or improving water quality. Jobs can be found with oil and gas companies, environmental consultancies and research organisations.
You'll spend time analysing the age, nature and components of rocks, minerals, soil and other samples, conducting tests using specialist equipment, generating computer models, writing technical reports and possibly giving presentations or lectures.
Once you've gained some experience, you may decide to specialise in an area such as oil and gas, or mining.
Learn more about what a geochemist does.
You'll study the physical aspects of the earth using a range of methods including gravity, magnetic, electrical and seismic. Creating a picture of what lies beneath the earth's surface is vital in the oil and gas industry.
Tasks include deciding on suitable seismic measurement and data processing techniques, observing recording equipment, interpreting and mapping 2D and 3D seismic data, measuring reservoir volumes, and thinking quickly and independently to solve problems in remote locations.
Masters or PhD-level study will help your career development.
Explore the role of a geophysicist.
This encompasses a variety of roles that involve working on the earth's system, including geophysicist, geologist, geochemist, hydrogeologist and sedimentologist. You'll use data to develop models of the subsurface of the earth for a variety of purposes.
Tasks include collecting data in the field, using sophisticated software to analyse the subsurface geology, assessing the potential quality of mineral and hydrocarbon resources, collaborating with drilling engineers, and planning the location and trajectory of new wells.
View the geoscientist job profile.
Your job is to study the distribution, flow and quality of water underground. You'll need to interpret technical data and information from maps and historical documents to build conceptual models of groundwater flow and quality.
The role requires knowledge of fundamental geology, and involves undertaking field work and site visits, designing and commissioning boreholes, analysing collected information to assess the impact potential activities may have on water quality, and ensuring compliance with regulations.
You'll benefit from gaining chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) or the Geological Society of London.
Discover more about how to become a hydrogeologist.
Also known as hydrographers, hydrographic surveyors spend time aboard survey ships and drilling platforms to measure and map underwater surfaces. This is essential when planning navigation charts, dredging, locating offshore resources, positioning wind farms and subsea cables, and monitoring erosion.
You'll need to use technical software and equipment to gather data, operate autonomous underwater vehicles, produce reports, manage onshore and offshore projects, respond to technical queries from colleagues, and deal with clients to provide survey results.
Find out more about a career as a hydrographic surveyor.
The main duties of a hydrologist are to monitor, manage and protect water resources in commercial, environmental and academic settings - ensuring that water is supplied in the most cost-effective way.
You'll use computer modelling packages to assess the best way of managing water in an area, study the impact of changing land use on water flows, plan responses to weather conditions such as drought or flooding, and investigate factors affecting acidity or nitrate levels.
Learn more about being a hydrologist.
Your role is to determine the commercial potential of mining or quarrying sites, by assessing risks, predicting environmental impacts and mapping mineral deposits. You'll also help to negotiate legal contracts and establish the rights to work a mine.
Potential tasks include charting surface areas using GPS and building 3D models using specialist software, researching land and tax records to establish ownership, taking samples and recording results, and providing valuations of mineral deposits.
Achieving chartered status and undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) is the key to gaining more senior posts. It is advisable to develop experience before starting to specialise.
Explore the job of a minerals surveyor in more detail.
You'll need to have an understanding of the impact mining operations have on their surrounding environment, in order to assess the viability of the project and help to plan the mine's structure, oversee production, and help with final closure.
Responsibilities include undertaking feasibility studies, modelling or designing potential mine sites, monitoring construction projects, ensuring the safety of the site and equipment, and managing monthly budgets.
Gaining CEng status through the Engineering Council can help with progression.
View the mining engineer job profile.
During the extraction of oil and gas, mudloggers monitor and record drilling activity to provide information about the well's status. This influences decisions about the efficiency and placement of well sites.
A job as a mudlogger is seen as an entry point into the oil industry, from which you can gain knowledge and experience to move into other roles. You could become a senior mudlogger, or, after two to three years, progress into the more senior job of data engineer or crew chief.
Explore what it's like to be a mudlogger.
You'll be involved in nearly all stages of oil and gas field evaluation, development and production - finding the most efficient way to drill for hydrocarbons, using new tools and techniques, and reducing the impact on the environment.
Depending on your role, tasks include selecting suitable equipment for the well, designing systems to help the well flow, managing problems of fluid behaviour, understanding and managing the interactions of a set of wells, and keeping clients informed of your progress.
Get more detail on the job of a petroleum engineer.
You'll ensure that quarries, pits and opencast sites operate successfully, including on-site and in the office. You'll manage staff, coordinate production, and monitor site systems.
On a day-to-day basis this involves making use of excellent interpersonal and management skills, checking production levels are maintained safely, balancing sales and output, liaising with sales and commercial teams, managing the quarry's budget, dealing with paperwork, and implementing relevant legislation.
You may need to move from one quarry to another to increase your level of responsibility and experience.
Find out more about being a quarry manager.
Usually coming from a civil engineering or environmental background, you'll specialise in water-based projects around the provision of clean water, disposal of sewage, and prevention of flood damage.
Roles include designing sewer improvement schemes and flood defence programmes, preparing tender documents, liaising with clients and governmental organisations, monitoring the progress of projects, and controlling budgets.
Read the water engineer job profile for more information.
Water quality scientist
Safeguarding water quality through scientific analysis, you'll work to maintain targets and standards set down in legislation, compare tests results, analyse shortfalls, and take action to fix any issues.
You'll take water samples, carry out lab testing, assess data, visit sources of pollution and contamination, liaise with regulators and provide advice on changes or solution to problems.
To develop your career, one option is working towards chartered status with CIWEM. You could move into a water operations role, which gives you responsibility for managing a range of water facilities, or alternatively management of laboratories and staff.
Find out more about being a water quality scientist.
You'll use specialised tests, samples and data to develop knowledge of structures being drilled for oil and gas. As an experience geologist, it'll be your responsibility to decide when tests should be carried out and when drilling should start, proceed and stop, taking into account health and safety considerations.
Tasks include evaluating data before drilling starts, analysing formations during drilling, advising on hazards and optimisation, making decisions on the suspension or continuation of drilling, and keeping detailed records.
Wellsite geologist isn't an entry-level role - you'll probably need two to five years' experience as a mudlogger or measuring while drilling (MWD) engineer before taking up the position.
Discover how to become a wellsite geologist.