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Geology/IOSH and NEBOSH Certifications


QUESTION: Hello Keith,
Are IOSH(The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) and NEBOSH(National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) certifications in Oil and Gas accredited and of any worth in the US O&G industry?

ANSWER: Hasan:

They cannot hurt, but unless they are government sanctioned they are not required.

Any certification that requires an exam has more credibility than one without.

These organizations despite their governmental sounding names are private and were set up to earn someone a living.  Nebosh says its non profit, but it still pays people.  Some certifications are not worth the paper they are printed on.

I would go directly to the horses mouth and ask prospective employers if the value the certifications and if so, which ones.  Don't spend a lot of money to earn one and keep it in force (yes its like crack cocaine, you get it and you have to keep on paying fees and taking classes to keep it.  It is never ending!)   Check with your target companies and see if they care if you are certified or not.

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QUESTION: Oh OK. Can you name some certifications which might come in handy for someone just entering the O&G job market(I'm talking about generalized ones, not specific to one employer)?

If you are talking about in the Health Safety and Environment area, I would say that Hazwoper training would be a good one if you are planning to work for companies under US OSHA jurisdiction.

Having it, makes it easier to put you to work faster.

When I became an environmental consultant, my new employer asked me about any training I had had previously and used that to qualify me as Hazwoper certified even though officially I probably wasn't.  They wanted to get me out in the field and working so I could bill hours.  The longer I sat in the office getting trained, the more they had to pay me out of overhead, and I was not earning money for the company.  I had a wide variety of classes, I was scuba trained and was a rescue diver and fire trained, first aid trained, H2S trained, and other stuff so they put me down as trained and off I went.  I saw them choose not to hire people based on whether they were already Hazwoper certified since they did not want to take the time and money to train them.

Larger oil companies are probably not as picky.  


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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