The boom in the oil industry has skewed the supply/demand ratios for a wide range of engineering and technical skills. Perhaps no more so than for Mechanical Engineers. Earlier this year, Rigzone came out with their list of highest in demand positions and Mechanical Engineer took the top slot:

1) Mechanical Engineer

2) Field Service Technician

3) Production Operator

4) Maintenance Technician

5) Heavy Machinery Operator

6) Mechanic

7) Petroleum Engineer

8) Geologist

9) QA/QC Inspector

10) Electrical Engineer

The demand is understandable. The applicability of mechanical engineers to a wide range of functions within the energy industry is substantial. Subsea Engineering, Well Engineering, Facilities Engineering, Project Engineering and Technical Services are just a few of the many areas employing Mechanical Engineering talent. All of these areas are experiencing significant growth within the oil industry right now. In addition to the increased demand, the industry is facing a serious supply issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for this group is 3.4 percent, which essentially means that a mechanical engineer that wants to be employed, is employed.

According to Alan Cullen, Managing Director of the Energy practice at Westwood & Wilshire, the demand is also driving up salaries. “From 2012-2014, we have seen a 20% year over year increase in annual salaries on our successful placements involving mechanical engineers. The difference has been even more pronounced in our contingent labor division where the increase has been closer to 25-30% on an hourly and day rate basis.”