Petroleum engineer, geologist and civil engineer topped the list of the best energy sector jobs of 2012, according to a new report from CareerCast.com.
"Although the nation's energy sector has endured several major setbacks in recent years, giving it what the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) calls an 'image problem,' the truth is that there are plenty of skilled and high-tech careers in the energy industry," says Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com.
The Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima Daiichi disasters, controversy over the use of hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") to extract natural gas, and a general perception of energy careers as unstable and low skilled has hurt the industry's reputation - particularly among younger candidates, according to the DOL. And while the typical image of an energy job involves a drilling site in a far-flung corner of the globe, most careers require more time in the lab than in the field.
"Projected growth for many energy sector jobs is better than the national average, and some offer dramatic growth and a fantastic work environment," says Lee. For example, petroleum engineer rates as the best energy sector job of 2012 thanks to very low stress, high hiring outlook and a median salary above $100,000 per year. The work environment for petroleum engineers is also very good, but the job does require travel to drilling sites - although only to serve in a supervisory role.
The second-best energy sector job of 2012 - geologist - is also involved in the process of extracting oil and gas. Petroleum geologists find and estimate the size of new deposits, helping energy companies identify where to begin new exploration projects, and they also enjoy low stress, a very strong hiring outlook and a healthy median salary of $82,500.
CareerCast.com's seven best energy jobs of 2012:
Profession Median Salary
Petroleum Engineer $114,080
Civil Engineer $77,560
Nuclear Engineer $99,920
Mechanical Engineer $78,160
Electrical Engineer $87,180
Industrial Engineer $76,100
Jobs Rated researchers rank jobs according to five key criteria: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Outlook and Stress using data from government sources, trade groups and private organizations.
To read the full report, visit http://energy.careercast.com/article/7-best-energy-sector-jobs-2012
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