Now hiring: STEM jobs in natgas, energy

The jobs of tomorrow are available today. But there is a shortage of skilled workers to fill them.

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and hiring have gained traction since 2000, according to U.S. News & World Report, with STEM jobs increasing by 28 percent over 16 years. However, the U.S. continues to struggle with filling the jobs of the future, despite the fact that these positions often don’t require costly four-year or advanced degrees.

The jobs available are stable and high paying. On average, non-STEM majors make $49,500 per year, Business Insider reports, while STEM majors earn $65,000. These aren’t just workers in the computer and information sciences fields — STEM opportunities are available across a number of sectors, including energy jobs created by projects like Atlantic Sunrise.

These jobs have been an opportunity for those looking for stable work that pays well. Many of the available energy jobs don’t require a four-year degree that is often financed by tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. The following are just a few of the schools in Pennsylvania that offer certificate programs or two-year degrees to prepare students for high-earning careers in the energy industry:

Natural gas jobs aren’t just isolated in the energy sector. Many manufacturers, most notably the plastics industry, use natural gas byproducts as a feedstock for their products. Pennsylvania is home to two accredited plastics engineering schools:

Educational and employment opportunities are available and plentiful. Projects like the Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will continue to create job opportunities for STEM workers, keeping these skilled employees right here in Pennsylvania.

The energy jobs of tomorrow depend on educating STEM students today.