Natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or frac’ing, is banned in New York State. But that hasn’t stopped an upstate New York educational organization from offering training courses for work in natural gas fields.
For $1,000, students can enroll in the five week Gas Industry Careers course that teaches technical skills used in natural gas extraction, like basic welding and rough terrain forklift driving.
Dick Lindhorst, coordinator of adult job training for the Broome-Tioga Board of Education Services, says job seekers in his region near the Pennsylvania border will be prepared when the frac’ing ban is lifted – and he’s confident it soon will be.
“Certainly any jobs at this point particularly those that pay above the normal level will help,” Lindhorst said, referring to the challenging job market.
The average weekly income for a worker in oil and gas extraction is $1,576, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a 21% increase from July 2007 – before the recession and the oil and gas booms in places like North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
The income for oil and gas workers is also the highest of any job in the BLS’s mining and logging category. In fact, it’s part of the reason that mining and logging is a higher paying industry sector than financial activities, according to the BLS. Employees in financial activities include accountants, bank tellers, and commodities sales agents, among others.