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Contracted Vs. Permanent: Weighing Up Your Options

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The energy sector is rife with opportunities for both permanent and fixed-term contract positions – which is most suitable for your lifestyle? From pay and professional development to work-life balance and more, there’s a lot to consider. 

At WRS, we provide both permanent and contract work placements for candidates across the energy industry – meaning we know a thing or two about what to expect. 

What are the pros and cons of contracted work?

It’s essential for individuals considering contract work in the energy sector to weigh up disadvantages against the potential benefits and align their career goals with the realities of a contractor’s lifestyle. 


  • Job variation: There are plenty of opportunities for types of roles as organisations offer different roles for your professional development. 

  • Potential tax savings: In the UK, contractors operate as either a limited company or an umbrella company –  and they won’t pay the same tax as a PAYE employee. If working overseas, you might have different tax obligations. WRS works with both our clients and contractors to ensure all payments are fair. 

  • Better remuneration: Contractors typically receive higher pay for their role than permanent employees, as day rates are often much more generous. In the energy sector, there is also a high demand for skilled workers. 

  • Network building: With the chance to work across the energy sector in different organisations, you’ll nurture connections with key stakeholders to open up new doors and develop your career – potentially securing your next role. 


  • Job insecurity: Project durations differ, so there is little long-term job security. Time between projects means periods of unemployment, with further uncertainty from economic downturns or industry fluctuations. 

  • Limited benefits: Contractors typically receive fewer benefits, like access to health insurance, retirement funds, or paid time off – they may also miss professional development opportunities or career advancement support.

  • Variable income: While contractors can command higher hourly rates, income may be irregular. Contractors might also need to factor in business expenses, such as equipment, insurance, and self-employment taxes, which impact take-home pay.

What are the pros and cons of permanent work? 

The choice between permanent and contract work often depends on individual preferences, career goals, and lifestyle considerations. 


  • Job security and stable income: Permanent employees generally have better job security, which lessens concerns about employment gaps and means a stable income – particularly helpful for those with mortgages and family responsibilities. 

  • Comprehensive benefits: On top of pay, permanent employees might have access to health care, pension plans, annual bonuses, travel expenses, and more. 

  • Career development opportunities: Major energy companies usually invest in further training opportunities to enhance permanent employee skill sets. There might also be a more defined career path.


  • Limited flexibility: Permanent positions often have set working hours and less flexibility. In the dynamic and unpredictable energy sector, the flexibility to adapt to changing project demands or emergencies is crucial. 

  • Career stagnation: While permanent positions provide stability, some individuals may find that advancement opportunities are limited within a single company, especially if the company has a flat organisational structure or limited expansion plans. Career growth might be slower compared to those moving between projects and companies as contractors. 

  • Corporate bureaucracy: Larger organisations with hierarchical structures and bureaucratic processes can make decision-making slower. Employees may need to navigate layers of management to implement changes or seek approval, leading to frustration and delays.

Permanent and contracted work opportunities with WRS 

Looking to make your next career move in the energy space? At WRS, we provide full end-to-end solutions for candidates seeking either contracted or permanent roles in marine, renewables, oil and gas and construction

Our team takes care of the whole process from start to finish and beyond. Find out more and get in touch with us today, or upload your CV to our database to get started.