How Many Jobs Are Available In Natural Gas Distribution?

Are you one of the many people keen to know how many jobs are available in natural gas distribution? Wait until you hear the answer.

This industry offers a wide range of jobs in areas like engineering, construction, operation, maintenance, and management.

There are 118,584 available jobs across the US in natural gas distribution, with an estimated decrease in growth of 1% from 2020 to 2030.

However, the pandemic caused a drop in employment. Nonetheless, with a $217 billion market and 2,941 registered businesses, the industry is expected to continue providing job opportunities for those interested in the field.

So, whether you’re a recent graduate exploring job options or an experienced professional seeking new opportunities, this article is for you.

It will inform you about one of the energy industry’s most important and fastest-growing sectors. Keep reading!

Natural Gas Distribution: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Distribution completes natural gas delivery. Most users get natural gas from their local gas utility. This is also known as a local distribution company.

However, some large industrial, commercial, and electric generation customers get it directly from high-capacity interstate and intrastate pipelines. They are usually contracted through natural gas marketing companies. 

Typically, local distribution companies deliver natural gas to residential and commercial properties.

This is done by sending the gas through thousands of miles of small-diameter distribution pipes from delivery points on the interstate and intrastate pipelines.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Natural Gas Distribution?

The natural gas distribution industry covers a wide range of fields, each offering varieties of occupations. These include:

  • Exploration and Production
  • Transmission
  • Processing
  • Storage
  • Distribution
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Compliance 

These fields, however, are interconnected and necessitate a diverse set of skills. But for this article, we’ll concentrate on distribution only. 

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Here are some of the positions in this industry that are in high demand:

Distribution Specialist

Job Description

  • Manage customer gas distribution.
  • Maintain equipment.
  • Address customer concerns.
  • Coordinate gas delivery with other departments.
  • Analyze and suggest improvements.

Average Annual Salary 

  • Ranges from $48,000 to $80,000

Skills

Qualifications Needed

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Technical training or experience.

Gas Technician

Job Description

  • Install, repair, and maintain gas pipelines, meters, and equipment.
  • Performs safety inspections and tests to ensure regulatory and safety compliance.
  • Handle gas leaks, emergencies, and customer service requests quickly.
  • Troubleshoot gas distribution equipment and systems.
  • Clean, lubricate, and adjust equipment as needed.

Average Annual Salary

  • Ranges from $40,000 to $80,000

Skills

  • Knowledge of gas distribution, equipment, and safety
  • Technical and mechanical expertise
  • Excellent problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Understanding schematics, blueprints, and technical manuals
  • Knowledge of gas distribution hand and power tools

Qualifications Needed

  • High school diploma
  • Certification in gas technology
  • License 

Meter Technician

Job Description

  • Safety-compliant installation, testing, and maintenance of gas meters, regulators, and related equipment.
  • Gas meter inspection and repair for accuracy and reliability.
  • Gas meter installation, reading, and leak requests.
  • Fixing gas meters, regulators, and other equipment’s technical issues.
  • Preventing breakdowns and ensuring reliable service by maintaining gas meters and equipment.

Average Annual Salary

  • Between $36,900 and $92,270

Skills

  • Knowledge of natural gas distribution systems
  • Troubleshooting gas meters and related equipment
  • Communicating technical information to others
  • Safety when handling natural gas
  • Careful meter installation and maintenance
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Qualifications Needed

  • Diploma or degree in a related field
  • Technical training certificate in a related field
  • NICET, AGA, added an advantage 

Distribution System Operator

Job Description

  • Ensure the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to customers.
  • Monitoring gas pressure and flow rates
  • Conducting safety inspections
  • Operating and maintaining gas compressors, generators, and other equipment
  • Responding to customer inquiries and complaints
  • Keeping records of gas usage and system operations

Average Annual Salary 

  • Between $50,000 and $80,000

Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Physical stamina

Qualifications Needed

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of an apprenticeship program or on-the-job training

Gas Distribution Engineer

Job Description

  • Design, build, and manage natural gas distribution systems.
  • Follow federal, state, and local safety regulations and industry standards.
  • Conduct system analysis to identify issues and improve efficiency.
  • Build with contractors and other engineers.
  • Create and review technical reports, cost estimates, and engineering reports.

Average Annual Salary

  • Around $89,000

Skills

  • Natural gas distribution systems and regulations knowledge.
  • Engineering know-how.
  • CAD and engineering tool experience.
  • Problem-solving and analysis.
  • Communication and social skills.
  • Ability to focus on details and teamwork.

Qualifications Needed

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in mechanical or civil engineering.
  • Professional engineering license preferred.
  • Several years of experience in the natural gas distribution industry

Pipeline Integrity Specialist

Job Description

  • Protecting natural gas pipelines
  • Pipeline inspections
  • Checking channels for damage or wear
  • identifying pipeline risks
  • Creating and implementing risk mitigation strategies
  • Collaborating with colleagues to maintain pipeline integrity

Average Annual Salary

  • Ranges from $70,000 to $120,000

Skills

  • Understanding pipeline safety regulations and industry best practices
  • Pipeline inspection and assessment skills
  • Data analysis and hazard detection
  • Corrosion control expertise
  • Pipeline repair and maintenance experience
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Qualification Needed

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in mechanical or civil engineering
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in pipeline inspection or integrity management
  • Professional certification in pipeline safety or integrity management

Conclusion

People with different skill sets and education levels can find various jobs in the natural gas distribution industry.

Even though the number of jobs has changed, the industry still provides steady work to more than 100,000 Americans.

New employment opportunities will likely arise as the industry adapts to evolving technologies and environmental regulations.

With the potential for long-term stability and growth, a career in natural gas distribution may be a promising option for those seeking opportunities in the energy sector.

FAQs

1. Is Natural Gas Distribution A Good Career Path?

Yes! This may be a promising career if you like technical work and a stable industry that provides essential services. This is because it offers numerous job opportunities, good salaries, benefits, and job security.

2. What Are The Future Prospects For Jobs In Natural Gas Distribution?

Due to the rising demand for cleaner energy, the natural gas industry is expected to grow. Thus, natural gas distribution jobs should remain strong.

New pipeline monitoring and control jobs are expected as technology and automated testing advance.

3. What Is The Typical Work Schedule For Employees In Natural Gas Distribution?

The work schedule can vary depending on the specific job and company. However, employment in this industry, such as pipeline operators or technicians, requires 24/7 monitoring and maintenance.

This can result in shift work, including nights and weekends. Other positions, such as administrative or management roles, may follow a more traditional 9-5 schedule.