Induced hydraulic fracturing, known more commonly as fracking, is a process by which water, sand, and additives are injected at high pressure into the ground to create fissures in rock that allow the release of natural resources trapped within, such as oil or natural gas. The process has been in commercial use since 1949, according to PE Magazine, but has become increasingly popular over the last five years.
According to Information Handling Services (IHS) report, U.S. natural gas production rose 25 percent between 2007 and 2012, due largely to increased shale gas production made possible by Hydrofracking. The report further noted that in 2000, only 2 percent of American natural gas came from shale sources, but by 2012 ,that figure had jumped to 37 percent.
As production is widely forecasted to increase, the demand for workers in the newly booming industry is growing.
The largest demand for talent comes in the engineering field, according to the head of Texas A&M's petroleum engineering department Dan Hill. Appearing before the House of Representatives, he estimated "tens of thousands" of new engineering positions to grow from increased natural gas production through fracking, reported PE Magazine. This estimate includes both those with prior training in areas directly relevant to resource extraction as well as those in ancillary fields like mechanical or electrical engineering who will be necessary to support the industry's expansion.