Natural gas plays a critical role in our daily lives. It is an ingredient in the products we use every day, and it is also used directly to fuel power plants as well as to heat American homes and businesses.
But the impacts of natural gas go beyond just those purposes. Natural gas is an important component of our employment picture. The natural gas industry employs 4 million Americans. These jobs include a variety disciplines, from engineers to technicians to safety professionals. These professions make up about 2 percent of employment in the United States.
Engineering is a very important career in the natural gas industry. Engineers are responsible for safe pipeline operations. They are also integral in the planning and designing of pipelines. They work to make sure the pipeline can be built safely in a way that seeks to avoid sensitive areas. Engineers and pipeline technicians use programs, software and inspection tools, such as ‘smart pigs’ or in-line inspection devices, to monitor the pipelines for any maintenance or corrosion issues.
In addition to direct natural gas jobs, there are a wide variety of indirect jobs associated with the natural gas industry. For example, many manufacturing companies use natural gas extensively as an ingredient in the products they make, whether it’s glass, plastics or nylon fibers.
Natural gas not only provides heat and products for Americans but helps increase their financial security through well-paying employment opportunities. For those in the industry, natural gas is more than just a job. It is a passion that not only allows thems to provide for their families, but also allows the American economy to thrive.