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There has never been a better time for crude drivers.  The continued expansion of the Permian Basin (the oilfields out in Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, etc.) has driven the demand for drivers up.  In fact, the shortage of drivers has all but stopped the oil industry from growing in the West Texas area. Part of this is due to the oil slump that happened in 2014.  Part of it is due to just how fast the oil industry has grown in West Texas.  Currently, the Permian Basin is producing about a third of America’s oil, and needs thousands of trucks to help move it.

Supply and Demand and the Shortage

For drivers looking to get into the oil industry, this is good news.  The law of supply and demand is a complicated thing, but here are a few relevant parts: when demand is high and supply is low — as is the case in West Texas — it is called a shortage or a “scarcity.”  When a shortage hits, the supply becomes more valuable.  For example, if Coca-Cola couldn’t make enough Coke to fill the shelves at local stores, the price would begin to go up. This same principle applies to drivers.  Because companies are having trouble finding drivers, companies are willing to pay more for talent.  

Drivers are some of the most important pieces in the oil company.  For companies unable to buy pipeline space to ship their oil from Midland or Odessa to Cushing (or wherever it needs to go), turning to other avenues becomes necessary.  Companies can transport oil a number of different ways, but the easiest way is by hiring truck drivers. The oil-driving industry is so big, in fact, that a separate industry has kind of grown out of it. In addition to driving crude from one place to another, companies also hire HAZMAT and Tanker endorsed drivers to haul fuel, chemical additives, sand, water, and even cleaning acids.  This is all because of the importance of hauling crude.

Shortage in Permian Basin

Get In on the Action

Experts are estimating that the booming oil business in West Texas will continue to grow.  Thousands of driving jobs are expected to open up as the industry continues to expand making the shortage worse.  It would be real easy to reference UES Solutions again (our website).  We help drivers find jobs at many of these company openings.  But more importantly, if you’re a driver in West Texas and you do not have your Tanker or HAZMAT endorsements, it may be time to consider it.  I’ve talked before about how drivers with the right endorsement can make an extra $20,000-$40,000 per year.

Next time, we’ll talk about top industry concerns about hiring new drivers to help you find your place and claim your next job!

Happy driving everyone!

For more info and updates, feel free to follow the UES CDL blog!