Fletcher Technical Community College’s new, $8 million building contains a $1 million lab, where students experience just how much updated technology can enrich their educational experience.

The students at this new lab in Schriever, Louisiana, most training to become oil and gas production technicians, have the opportunity to train on state-of-the-art equipment to better prepare for their entry into a workforce that now necessitates highly-skilled workers.

According to instructor, Joe Zorn, “In two years, they’re getting about 10 years’ worth of knowledge.” He added, “We’re starting with very basic tools, and when the student ends, he’s got a good knowledge of the major equipment that’s out there.”

The program in which these students are enrolled, “Integrated Production Technologies”, has two courses of studies – a one-year certificate program and a two-year associate’s degree program. The course of study includes training in fluid mechanics, electronics, deep water systems, science and oilfield instruments.

In fact, the program is so advanced, and the workers so in demand, that companies like Schlumberger actually hold recruiting events at the College. Schlumberger alone has approximately 126,000 employees currently.

The program, which continually adjusts class schedules and times to meet the needs of students who hold full-time jobs, has multiplied dramatically over the last four years, nearly doubling its class size each year. One of the primary reasons is the income potential post-graduation.

Says Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet, “They advertise that if you go there for two years, then after high school you can make $60,000 a year. In fact, their slogan is $60K is two years away.”

This program is in addition to the College’s already robust Marine Division in Houma.

According to Stag Energy Services, “Americans have become attracted to the oil and gas industries, simply because of the availability of jobs. However, those who are selective of their opportunities may now discover that there are industry careers that specialize in virtually every type of skills, from physical labor to scientific to creative.”

The time is ripe for employment in the oil and gas industry, and employers are looking for skilled, qualified candidates.  There is a lot of money to be made in this growing industry – will you be a part of the boom?