You’d probably recognize that green and yellow sun symbol anywhere, whether you’re driving down a highway or a suburban road. BP is not only one of the largest energy companies but also one of the largest companies in the world. Even though many of us may know the name and logo, what’s working at BP actually like? This guide will cover:
- What Is BP?
- Student and New Graduate Opportunities at BP
- BP Careers and Salaries
- BP Benefits
- BP Culture
- BP vs. Competitors
- Applying to BP
What Is BP?
BP is currently a multinational energy company, but it started with a small team who had struck gold — well, oil — in Persia (now Iran) in 1908. Then, about a decade later, Winston Churchill took an interest in the company, and it became one of Britain’s major oil suppliers.
After helping supply World War I, BP needed to look elsewhere to expand its oil supply. The company found oil in Alaska and began its expansion, acquiring smaller oil and gas companies along the way. Today, BP operates in over 70 countries worldwide.
In 2020, the company released its plans for a “transformation,” a mission to get the company to net zero emissions by 2050. BP has shifted its focus from being an oil and gas company to an innovative energy company. While BP still invests most of its resources toward oil and gas, it’s making strides to invest in lower-carbon businesses and sustainable energy sources.
Today, BP is an international company headquartered in London, England, and its U.S. headquarters are in Houston, Texas. The company employs 17,000 employees in the U.S. and is America’s number one energy investor, having invested over $90 billion into the industry within the last decade.
BP’s annual profit doubled in 2022 from the previous year to $28 billion, according to Forbes, and has a total revenue of $222.68 billion — according to Companies Market Cap — making it one of the world’s largest companies by revenue. The company currently ranks 35 in the Global 500, down 17 spots from the previous year.
>>MORE: Is Energy a Good Career Path?
Student and New Graduate Opportunities at BP
Want to know what it’s like to work at BP? The company offers internship opportunities across multiple business areas, including engineering, science, business, trading, and shipping. Within these areas, there are also more granular opportunities. For example, if you’re interested in engineering, you can intern in automotive engineering, construction, mechanical engineering, or project services, to name a few.
Depending on where you are in your degree, BP has a few different programs available to you.
Early Engagement Programs
BP’s early engagement programs allow you to learn more about BP from current leaders and graduates. Rather than a traditional internship where you’re doing tasks you might have on the job, these short-term programs aim to show you what opportunities are available at BP and prepare you for their internships.
Finance and Risk Virtual Bootcamp
This bootcamp is for second-year university students interested in financial markets, trading, and risk. The bootcamp consists of interactive presentations and Q&As with the team, BP executives, and current employees in the graduate program. This is a three-hour-a-day, five-day program that takes place in late July.
Future Talent Scholarship
This scholarship is for first- and second-year university students interested in learning more about BP jobs and the energy sector. Students join engagement events during the summer that BP describes as a “launchpad” to its internships. Once the program is over, students receive $5,000 toward their education. Applications open at the beginning of February and close at the end of March.
BP Engineering Bridge Program
This program is for high school seniors who are underrepresented minorities in and around Chicago, Houston, and Seattle. BP aims to help these students prepare for university through a program the summer before they attend college. After the summer session, students receive a scholarship and monthly professional development and mentorship.
BP Trading & Shipping Sophomore Experience
This program is for second-year students interested in financial markets and trading who want to work in the energy field. Students get an inside view of what it’s like to work in these roles at BP and learn more about internship opportunities. Once you’ve completed the three- to four-day program (depending on whether you go to Chicago or Houston) in June or July, you get early access to apply for BP internships and move to formal interviews if you’re qualified.
Internships and Co-Ops
BP offers 12-week summer internships and 16-week spring and fall co-ops to those studying for or with a bachelor’s or master’s degree (exact degree requirements depend on the individual internship or co-op).
During these internships, you’ll be able to work directly on some of the same everyday projects, challenges, and scenarios as BP employees. In addition, interns receive a competitive salary, corporate housing paid by BP, relocation assistance (if needed), social activities, and other benefits.
BP offers 18-36 month-long graduate programs for people with an undergraduate degree and a minimum 3.2 GPA. These opportunities are available across different career areas at BP and offer a competitive salary, a bonus, and benefits.
The graduate program is all about hands-on experience and development. You’ll learn technical and job skills while getting feedback and mentorship. In some cases, you’ll be offered a rotation between different areas of the business.
BP Careers and Salaries
BP careers span numerous job areas, from technical fields like engineering to human resources, finance and tax, sales and marketing, and digital and technology. The company also has industry-specific opportunities in offshore wind energy, hydrogen and CSS, wells, and health, safety, security and environment (HSSE).
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Some popular fields within the U.S. are digital and technology, engineering, and finance and tax.
Digital and Technology
Digital and technology roles at BP range from UX design to data analytics, but are all focused on the same problem: how can BP design, develop, and iterate the best technology that helps BP sustainably provide energy?
Here’s what you may be likely to make in a BP digital and technology role once you’re established in a full-time position, according to Glassdoor:
- Software engineer: $143,383
- Product manager: $164,768
- Senior product manager: $195,550
- Solution architect: $224,735
Salaries from Glassdoor are average salaries reported by employees across a variety of experience levels. BP also lists base salary ranges in job descriptions for some positions, which can help you determine your compensation. If you’re an entry-level employee, you can expect a salary toward the lower end of the range.
Engineering is the backbone of BP’s energy production, from bringing oil up to the surface to processing it and transporting it across the world.
Average salaries for engineering jobs at BP, according to Glassdoor, are:
- Mechanical engineer: $119,893
- Drilling engineer: $186,071
- Petroleum engineer: $162,348
- Production engineer: $133,558
>>MORE: Practice your engineering skills with Forage’s engineering virtual experience programs.
Finance and Tax
This team works on finance, tax, and procurement work to protect and expand the company’s financial value. Because BP is one of the largest companies by revenue and operates worldwide, finance and tax employees work to keep up with the international markets and negotiate contracts globally.
According to Glassdoor, salaries for BP finance and tax roles are:
- Financial analyst: $110,285
- Senior financial analyst: $156,026
- Commodity risk analyst: $136,763
- Auditor: $105,556
BP groups its benefits into three categories: direct pay, which includes base salary, bonus, and share options; BP experience, known as BP’s workplace culture; and core and flexible fringe benefits.
Core benefits at BP include:
- Health care (medical, dental, and eyesight)
- Disability, life, and accident coverage
- Long-term saving plans (including retirement plans; 401k is a 7% match)
- Paid time off
BP also has more unique benefits to support its employees, including:
- Flexible working policies
- BP well-being program that includes classes and coaching
- Back-up child care or adult/elder care
- Commuter benefits
- Employee donation matching fund (up to $5,000 per calendar year)
- Adoption assistance
- Educational assistance program to pay for certain outside education costs
- Employee discount programs
Employees rate BP’s benefits in the top third of companies of its size on Comparably, with a 71 out of 100 (a B) rating. On Glassdoor, employees rate its benefits 4.4 of 5 stars and give some of the highest individual ratings to the company’s pension and 401(k) plans.
Although BP started as an oil and gas company, it now brands itself as an energy company focused on reimagining energy, reducing carbon emissions in its production, and eventually helping the world get to net zero. This mission drives BP’s culture, from its core values to diversity and inclusion work.
Employees rate BP’s overall culture a 66 out of 100 on Comparably, which is a C. The company’s diversity score is a B-. Of BP employee reviews left on Comparably, 62% were positive. Employees report a comfortably fast work environment and 79% are happy with their work-life balance. The majority, 80%, look forward to daily interaction with their team and 65% say their work environment is positive.
What positive and constructive feedback do employees have about BP? According to MIT’s Culture 500, employees talk the most about BP’s agility, but mainly in a negative manner. On the other hand, employees talk most positively about the customer, meaning they believe BP always puts the customer first.
In February 2020, BP announced a “transformation,” with the company planning to invest more in lower carbon energy. This transformation has been one of oil and gas’ biggest shifts away from using fossil fuels, according to Time.
The transformation came with a two-part plan: first, invest more in lower carbon energy sources, like bioenergy, EV charging, and solar and wind power; second, get the company to net zero, meaning it’s responsible for zero greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity.
Three years later, in February, 2023, BP CEO Bernard Looney told investors that BP’s new goal by 2030 was to cut oil and gas production by at least 20% from 2019 levels; the old goal, set in 2020, was to decrease production by at least 35%.
This is not necessarily a departure from the company’s original goals, but rather a slowed-down approach. The goal to reach net zero by 2050 remains, and the company is still committed to using half of its budget on low-carbon business by 2030, according to Reuters.
BP has five core values that are crucial to its culture and its mission of reaching net zero:
- Safety (of workforce and people)
- One team
The company also has released “Who We Are” — a set of three beliefs that will help the team improve and deliver on its net zero goal:
- Live our purpose. Safety comes first. The company should make a positive impact and always do the right thing.
- Play to win. Know the competition, but seek them out to learn from them. Always keep improving and hold yourself accountable, whether you’re achieving goals or coming up short.
- Care for others. Be kind toward one another and put yourself in everyone else’s shoes. Prioritize your team.
BP Diversity and Inclusion
BP aims to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace through data-driven transparency, company-wide accountability, and equitable talent attraction practices. The company also features specific diversity and inclusion focus areas on its website.
BP strives to make its workplace accessible with the support of its disability employee resource group. The company has inclusive recruitment training, assistive support technology for all employees, accessible brand visibility standards, and neurodiversity awareness training sessions.
BP aims to employ people from all ethnic backgrounds and represent the communities it serves within its workforce. The company has sponsorship opportunities, targeted recruitment and talent practices, and managerial training to promote an inclusive culture.
Since 2006, the Positively Ethnic Network (PEN), an employee resource network, has promoted the representation and inclusivity of ethnic minorities at BP.
BP believes flexible working empowers its employees and benefits the business. Therefore, employees are encouraged to work on a schedule that works for them and their work-life balance.
Employees can also request a formal flexible working arrangement, such as part-time, job-shared roles, flexible time management, or flexible work location.
The company’s Working Parents and Carers Network supports employees with caring responsibilities by sharing resources and experiences.
BP set a goal in 2011 to have 25% women group leaders and 30% women senior-level leaders by 2020. The company isn’t there yet but has adapted its recruitment processes to attract and retain female employees and provides unconscious bias training to all employees.
Women’s International Network, the company’s employee resource network, supports BP’s female employees.
BP Pride is an employee-led pride community with two programs to support LGBT+ employees.
In Safe Space, employees of all sexualities and genders gather to hear presenters share some of their experiences and show how everyone can make change at work. In Allies, allies work to proactively build a safe and inclusive work environment for their LGBT+ peers.
BP is a founding member of Trans in the City, a group of organizations collaborating to promote trans, non-binary, and gender diversity in business.
BP vs. Other Companies
Some of BP’s main competitors include other large gas and oil companies: Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil, and Shell.
According to Glassdoor, here’s how BP stacks up against its competitors.
|Overall||Culture & Values||Diversity & Inclusion||Work-Life Balance||Compensation & Benefits||Recommend to a Friend||Positive Business Outlook|
|BP||3.9 / 5||3.8 / 5||4.0 / 5||3.7 / 5||4.2 / 5||71%||64%|
|Chevron Corporation||4.1 / 5||4.1 / 5||4.1 / 5||3.9 / 5||4.0 / 5||82%||73%|
|ExxonMobil||3.2 / 5||2.6 / 5||3.1 / 5||3.0 / 5||3.7 / 5||40%||42%|
|Shell||4.1 / 5||4.1 / 5||4.1 / 5||3.9 / 5||3.9 / 5||82%||72%|
Applying to BP
BP’s website has a wealth of information about the application process, from applying logistics to tips on how to stand out.
What Does the Application Process at BP Look Like?
The BP application process usually takes a few weeks to months. For early career positions, the process usually looks like this:
- Apply online with the global application form. You can find this on BP’s career website.
- Complete the online questionnaire. This is about “situational judgment,” meaning you’ll be faced with different working scenarios and need to share how you’d navigate each situation.
- Take a psychometric assessment. These tests assess how you process verbal and numerical information. For example, they may show you a data set and ask you to parse information or make a conclusion based on that data set.
- Do an on-demand interview. Also known as a one-way interview, this is an asychronous interview where you record your answers to pre-selected interview questions. You do not interact directly with an interviewer.
- Participate in a technical interview. Show off your hard skills in a scenario-based interview.
- Take the final assessment. Perform individual and group exercises that simulate what you might work on in a role at BP.
How Does the BP Interview Process Work?
BP’s interview process consists of structured interviewing, meaning the hiring team focuses on how you’ve applied your skills in work situations.
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Because the interviews are about your previous work experience, it’s crucial to think closely about what you’ve done — even if it’s not a formal work experience — and how you’d describe it, discuss its challenges, and the outcome.
On-Demand Competency Interview
Also known as a behavioral interview, this interview focuses on your experiences and how they align with BP’s values.
“If you don’t have work experience, it’s absolutely OK to bring examples from your personal life or your educational life,” Sabina Valiyev, early careers advisor, says in a video on BP’s career “hints and tips” page.
The team recommends using the STAR method for preparing for and answering these questions.
This interview focuses on who you are and why you’re a good fit for BP. Before the interview, review the BP values and consider how your experiences align with them. This interview is about what you uniquely bring to the table, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine!
The technical interview isn’t merely a review of what technical concepts you know but rather an assessment of how you approach work-related situations. The team wants to evaluate your problem-solving skills and learn how you think about problems and go about finding a solution.
Final Assessment: Virtual Assessment Centre
Finally, a virtual assessment centre is a series of assessments that show how you work well with others and your technical skills — almost a combination of the two previous interviews. However, unlike the other interviews, you’ll work directly with your potential colleagues on group projects that mimic what you’d be working on in the role.
“It’s a fanstastic opportunity to get a real feel for our culture and who we are as a company,” Ilana Burley, early careers resourcing lead, says in a video about BP’s virtual assessment centres.
Applying to BP Tips
The BP early careers team shares top tips for standing out and succeeding in the interview process.
- Submit your application as early as possible. BP notes on its career page that vacancies are filled on an ongoing basis. The company may close its applications before the deadline if the role has been filled, so apply as soon as possible!
- Set up job alerts. When you create an account through BP’s careers page, you can get an alert every time a job you’re eligible for becomes available. However, you should tailor your application for each new position.
- Let your personality shine. “Really relax and let your natural, authentic self shine through in your answers,” Burley says in a tips video. BP cares about bringing your whole self to work, so it wants its interviewees to share what makes them unique.
- Ask insightful questions. “Don’t forget to interview the interviewers to show them that you are passionate to work for BP,” Clement Lee, from the risk graduate program, says in a virtual interview tips video. “After all, an interview is a two-way conversation.”
- Focus on the company’s values. Make sure to familiarize yourself with BP’s values and infuse your interview responses with examples of how you embody those values. “Take some time to reflect on how your skill set and experience can contribute to reimagining BP and to reaching net zero,” Luisa Florez, environmental coordinator, says in a video about understanding BP values. “This is a really exciting time for BP and I think it’s important to bring that excitement to your application as well.”
- Emphasize how your skill set aligns with what BP needs. “Know the role and know why your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and experiences are relevant to that position and have a really clear way of being able to articulate that,” Burley advises.
- Request clarity if you need it! BP clearly says in its application tips that the team won’t mark you down for asking them to clarify any part of the interview process. If you’re unsure, ask.
- Make sure your tech works. Before your interviews, check your video, sound, and any software you might need to use for the assessment. You’ll want to be sure you have access to any tools you need during the process to avoid friction.
- BP started as an oil and gas company and now brands itself as an energy company focused on net zero emissions.
- The company employs people in various career areas, such as engineering, HSSE, finance and tax, and digital and technology.
- BP’s hiring process includes multiple interviews that assess your technical skills, problem-solving approach, and how you work with others.
- BP has five core values that are crucial to its mission: safety (of workforce and people), respect, excellence, courage, and one team. The hiring team wants candidates to focus on how they embody these values during the application process.
Learn what it’s like to work at other top companies with Forage’s company guides, including:
- Guide to Working at Verizon
- Guide to Working at Atlassian
- Guide to Working at Prudential
- Guide to Working at Walmart
- Guide to Working at Airbnb
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