ERIKA MILLER IS A PETROLEUM ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN AT THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT'S FIELD OFFICE IN MEEKER, COLORADO.
AN ARMY VETERAN, ERIKA INITIALLY PLANNED TO WORK IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AFTER COMPLETING HER MILITARY SERVICE.
"Learning how to be a leader in the army I think has really benefited me here. It has shown people that I'm ready for more, that I want more responsibility.”
ERIKA'S JOB IS TO ENSURE THE SAFTEY OF EVERY OIL AND GAS WELL IN THE NORTHWEST DISTRICT.
SHE INSPECTS NEW WELLS IN PRODUCTION AND THOSE READY TO BE ABANDONED.
WELLS ON THESE PUBLIC LANDS MUST STAY WITHIN B-L-M REGULATIONS, MEANING THEY HAVE MINIMAL IMPACT ON THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT AND FOLLOW VERY STRICT SAFETY PROCEDURES IN ORDER TO PREVENT SPILLS AND INJURIES.
ERIKA MUST INSPECT THE WELL AND THE PLOT FOR OVERALL SAFETY.
IN ADDITION TO A YEAR OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION, A P-E-T MUST HAVE EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS IN ORDER TO WORK WITH OIL AND GAS EMPLOYEES, RIG OPERATORS, LANDOWNERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.
"Usually when I do this I'm by myself or with the company man. It's a good job. You get out of the office. Get to look at that." [Erika points to landscape]
"There's a lot of job security here. A lot of people can't say that. I can to this job when we were in an oil and gas boom and now we're in a recession. And I think that has a lot to be said for that."
"For a P-E-T, we're on a maxi-flex schedule. So as long as I fit 80 hours in two weeks, I'm pretty much good. A lot of times I'll work like four 10's and take Thursday, Saturday, Sunday off."
IN ADDITION TO THE FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY OF A P-E-T’S SCHEDULE, ERIKA ENJOYS ANOTHER BIG PERK TO HER JOB.
"I think one of the best things is being a firefighter….I carry my equipment around in my rig and when something happens, I can respond to it. You know, they can call me on the radio or the cell phone and I can just drop what I'm doing, change my clothes, go out and be a firefighter." (12 seconds)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BLM EMPLOYMENT, VISIT WWW.BLM.GOV/CO.