Day in the Life: Derek Kamp

At Caterpillar Oil and Gas, we help our customers do the work. To do this, the leadership in the Oil and Gas division must be as strong as the yellow iron that Caterpillar is known for. Enter Derek Kamp, Caterpillar Oil and Gas Vice President, Well Service Customer Relationship Management!

By Danielle Wills and Derek Kamp | Posted January, 2023


A: I grew up in Mackinaw, Illinois, a small-town southeast of Peoria. If you meet anybody from Peoria, they’ll tell you how they are somehow connected to Caterpillar; it is very embedded in the culture.



A: I started my Caterpillar career in 2004 in the Transmission Business unit as a controls engineer on the Agriculture / Motor Grader team. From there, I completed Caterpillar’s Marketing Training Class (MTC) in 2007 and joined the company’s Oil & Gas division in 2008.  Throughout the years, I’ve held roles in dealer development, product definition, and several commercial functions.  I’ve been fortunate to have been part of a team that won two Chairman’s Awards for Sustainability and Product Innovation. Another highlight of my career was when I worked on the team which developed the Pump Electronic Monitoring System (PEMS), which received a US patent.

Currently, I lead Sales & Management for Caterpillar’s Well Service Portfolio. This includes coverage of SPM Oil & Gas, traditional Cat-yellow engines and transmissions, and execution of our Electric Fracs services contracts, including VoltaGrid.


Derek Kamp
Derek Kamp

A: My job allows me to work with people, both internal and external, to the company, including customers and dealer partners. Working with others has benefited my job because I collaborate and receive great input from my team members.


Q: What made you fall in love with the Oil and Gas industry?

A: Growing up in central Illinois, I was unfamiliar with the oil & gas industry until I was introduced to it through Caterpillar. Farming, agriculture, and construction are the industries I have always associated with Caterpillar. When I moved to Houston to work with the oil & gas team and saw the market overview of how much the industry impacts everybody’s life- the dynamics of it, the customers, the complexity – it just intrigued me and inspired me to learn more.


Q: What career advice do you offer for someone interested in a role like yours?

A: For a role like mine, it’s important to have true grit and hustle. One must also be passionate about their job and understand how it affects customers.


Q: What aspects of your job keep you on your toes the most?

A: I’m always focused and prepared to help our customers. Everybody has different opinions, different thoughts, and different points of view. I try to put myself in our customers’ shoes and take their perspectives to understand their situations. For most jobs within Caterpillar Oil and Gas, even if you aren’t directly interacting with customers, your work impacts our customers, so you must keep them at the front of your mind. ‘How are they going to perceive this? What do they want to hear from us?’


Q: What aspect of what you do makes you proud to be a Caterpillar Oil and Gas employee?

A: I get the most gratification from serving our customers. It’s a very rewarding feeling when I can answer technical questions, address an operational need, be a mentor, or advise them in any situation that arises. Supporting our customers drives me, and our customers have confidence that we will treat them right.


Q: How would you describe the company culture at Caterpillar?

A: The company culture at Caterpillar is very family-oriented, and I have a great work/life balance supported by my team. Since day one at Caterpillar, people have always been willing to help, even when I’ve traveled to other regions where Caterpillar operates. I remember being welcomed and feeling a part of the team when I worked with a group in Beijing, China. Caterpillar is a very values-driven company, which is apparent through the people and the work processes in place to ensure we adhere to the company principles.


Q: How have you developed your skills and grown within your career throughout the years?

A: As an individual advances through their career journey, I highly recommend keeping an open mind about different opportunities available, even if you don’t think you will like it. At Caterpillar, I’ve had various job roles: dealer, engineering, account management, NPI, and strategy. They were all very different, but I’ve learned skills throughout each. Even if a job doesn’t sound perfect, try it because the experience can provide great career growth and opportunities. I also encourage attending industry events, conferences, and experiences that allow you to network and learn.


Q: What do you wish you could have known about your job before starting?

A: As the world’s leading construction-equipment manufacturer, engineering is one of Caterpillar’s cornerstones, yet the company is also very people focused. Before starting my job, I wish I had learned about the value of relationships and how they contribute to your internal and external success when working with customers.


Q: How do you like spending time when you’re not working?

A: In my free time, especially on weekends, I enjoy spending time with my family. My kids are younger, so once I’m back from work, I try to be with them as much as possible. I also enjoy spending time with friends and doing things outdoors. I have a life goal to visit every national park, and so far, I’ve seen eight.


Q: What do you like most about working for Caterpillar?

A: One of my favorite things about working for Caterpillar is the people. As I mentioned before, the culture at Caterpillar is very family-oriented, and many of my colleagues are also my friends. Our teams do a great job at hiring people that fit our company culture because that ultimately leads to better work, positive company morale, and productivity. Every day we spend at least 8 hours working, so it makes sense to hire like-minded individuals who understand the company, work well with others, and help propel both individuals and their teams forward. 






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