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Getting into oil and gas with a physics degree with no geophysics courses?

  • Physics
  • Thread starter Shackleford
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is that possible? UH offers a physics degree BS with geophysics specialization. I looked at doing that a while back but decided against it. With just a BS Physics, could I get into oil and gas/energy? If so, what kinds of jobs would I be doing? I live outside of Houston, btw.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Well, of course, I took a freshman physical geology course.

Anyone?
 
  • #3
ranger
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Of course you can get into the oil & gas industry. There are tons and tons of geo-science jobs such as: Geophysicist, Petrophysicist, and Geologist.
 
  • #4
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Of course you can get into the oil & gas industry. There are tons and tons of geo-science jobs such as: Geophysicist, Petrophysicist, and Geologist.
With just a pure physics degree and no geophysics courses? How difficult would learning the geophysics applications on the job be?
 
  • #5
ranger
Gold Member
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With just a pure physics degree and no geophysics courses? How difficult would learning the geophysics applications on the job be?
Well you have already taken one course. Its better you be well prepared by taking a few extra courses in the area. Sure you will do on-the-job learning, but you will probably need a little more background. I am not discounting the fact of getting in with just Physics degree with no geoscience specialization, but you should at least have a little background in the area.
 
  • #6
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Well you have already taken one course. Its better you be well prepared by taking a few extra courses in the area. Sure you will do on-the-job learning, but you will probably need a little more background. I am not discounting the fact of getting in with just Physics degree with no geoscience specialization, but you should at least have a little background in the area.
Scratch that. I cannot substitute any geology courses for my physics electives. I have already used all my free electives, so if I took any geophysics courses I would have to take additional courses and graduate later than I'm planning. I'm not going to do that. Blah.
 
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  • #7
stewartcs
Science Advisor
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Is that possible? UH offers a physics degree BS with geophysics specialization. I looked at doing that a while back but decided against it. With just a BS Physics, could I get into oil and gas/energy? If so, what kinds of jobs would I be doing? I live outside of Houston, btw.
Yep. But you might not be doing any geological work. Lots of Oil and Gas companies will higher you as long as you have a BS in any technical field. It may require you to take a field service type job but they pay really well too.

CS
 
  • #8
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Yep. But you might not be doing any geological work. Lots of Oil and Gas companies will higher you as long as you have a BS in any technical field. It may require you to take a field service type job but they pay really well too.

CS
What does a field service type job entail?
 
  • #9
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Scratch that. I cannot substitute any geology courses for my physics electives. I have already used all my free electives, so if I took any geophysics courses I would have to take additional courses and graduate later than I'm planning. I'm not going to do that. Blah.
Sounds like you don't really want it very much then!
 
  • #10
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Sounds like you don't really want it very much then!
Just thinking about a decent-paying job, that's all. lol.
 
  • #11
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You could do a masters in the topic, you'd probably be pretty employable then
 
  • #12
stewartcs
Science Advisor
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What does a field service type job entail?
Depends on the company. It can be installation, commissioning of new equipment, field repairs, field modifications, 3rd party services, etc.

CS
 
  • #13
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There are lots of different jobs in oil and gas. I worked as a computer programmer in oil and gas before working as a computer programmer in finance. There are also some physics related jobs in designing instruments (neutron scattering devices, resistivity detectors, etc.)

Also there are different subdivisions in oil and gas. Geophysics is different from petrophysics for example. Geologists look at the forest. Geophysicists look at the trees. Petrophysicists look at the leaves.
 
  • #14
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What does a field service type job entail?
Going to an oil well and babysitting instruments. It can be rather interesting if said oil well is on an offshore platform off the coast of Angola.
 
  • #15
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what are the companies who recruit computer programmers or ppl with masters in pure physics in this oil n gas sector...???I hve done masters iin physics and now working as a computer programmer....
 
  • #16
stewartcs
Science Advisor
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Going to an oil well and babysitting instruments. It can be rather interesting if said oil well is on an offshore platform off the coast of Angola.
Offshore platforms are boring everywhere! LOL! :biggrin:

The excitement in Angola would come from making it to and from the rig from the airport without getting kidnapped or killed. :rofl:

CS
 
  • #17
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what are the companies who recruit computer programmers or ppl with masters in pure physics in this oil n gas sector...???I hve done masters iin physics and now working as a computer programmer....
Much of the recruitment is doing through the same set of headhunters that to headhunting for other fields. If you send in your resume to an HH in Houston, there is a good chance that an oil/gas company would be their clients. There are the big majors (Exxon, Schlumberger, Halliburton), but there are also mom-and-dad shops. The google terms are "geological software" "geophysical software" and "petrophysical software."

The thing that got me my job in oil and gas was extensive knowledge of fortran 77.
 
  • #18
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what are the companies who recruit computer programmers or ppl with masters in pure physics in this oil n gas sector...???I hve done masters iin physics and now working as a computer programmer....
Sorry, this might be a bit off-topic, but did you choose to do computer programming or did you want to do something else, but couldn't find a more strictly physics-related job?
 
  • #19
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Going to an oil well and babysitting instruments. It can be rather interesting if said oil well is on an offshore platform off the coast of Angola.
What about an office job downtown Houston?
 
  • #20
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Sorry, this might be a bit off-topic, but did you choose to do computer programming or did you want to do something else, but couldn't find a more strictly physics-related job?
Pretty much. If someone knocked on my door and offered a tenure track position at a major university at be rather quickly gone. ..... Listens at the door for a knock ..... Nope... No one knocking this evening. So I can't get exactly what I want, so the next step is to figure out the closest thing I can get. It helps that professorship was really a second choice anyway. What I *really* want to do is to be a starship captain, but I have the problem of being born a few centuries too early.

Also computer programming and "physics job" aren't exclusive. I spent most of graduate school staring at a computer screen trying to figure out what the @#$#@$ bug is in the @#$#@$ code. What I do most of the day is to figure out what the @#$$#@$ bug is in the #@$#@$ code.
 
  • #21
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What about an office job downtown Houston?
There are those too. Houston has some really weird geography, and the oil companies are rather spread out so a lot of the oil related companies have their offices on the outskirts. One reason I got out of the oil/gas business is that I didn't like Houston that much. I really like NYC, but I've never been able to quite fit into Houston.
 
  • #22

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