Petroleum Engineer Career

petroleum-engineer-500Petroleum engineering is a facet of engineering that focuses on the production of natural gases and crude oil, developing methods for extraction and efficient cultivation.

Petroleum engineering also concerns many other aspects of production, such as overseeing on land and off-shore drilling sites, while working in conjunction with geoscientists in order to maximize extraction, while incurring the least amount of damage to the environment.

Texas is currently an ideal state for employment in the petroleum engineering field, although world travel is not uncommon.

Petroleum Engineer Career Snapshot

Because there are many facets of petroleum engineering, work environments range from off-site offices and laboratories, to working hands-on at drilling sites. Those working in the field may be required to travel considerably, working long hours in the process.

Further details on a career as a petroleum engineer are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for petroleum engineers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 7% have a Master’s degree.

Petroleum Engineer Education

In order to work as a petroleum engineer, a bachelors degree in mechanical, chemical, or petroleum engineering is required, and a strong proficiency in mathematics and science is necessary to excel at your craft. Graduate degrees offer a significant advantage in the field of petroleum engineering, and most employers place high emphasis on actual job experience during the hiring process.

Petroleum Engineer Job Duties

The day-to-day duties of a petroleum engineer vary heavily depending on the branch of engineering chosen. There are several types of petroleum engineers, including: production engineers, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers, and petroleum geologists. A petroleum geologist would focus on locating natural gases and other hydrocarbons withing subsurface formations, while a drilling engineer would centralize his attention on the actual extraction of these hydrocarbons.

Petroleum Engineer Salaries

According to 2015 statistics, the average salary of petroleum engineers hovers at about $74,880 for the bottom ten percent, while climbing to $187,200 and up for the top ten percent of those employed in this field. This is expected to fluctuate with the projected job outlook in the near future.

Petroleum Engineer Job Outlook

While oil prices are the major determining factor for job growth in the field of petroleum engineering, employment rates are projected to grow at a rate significantly higher than most jobs, coming in at incredible, ten percent, between 2014 and 2024. The prices of hydrocarbons are expected to increase during this time period, which will require a growing workforce to handle the intricacies of a fluid occupation such as petroleum engineering.

Petroleum Engineer Skills & Traits

Petroleum Engineer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Petroleum Engineer:Typical Work Activities:
• Reading Comprehension
• Active Listening
• Speaking
• Complex Problem Solving
• Critical Thinking
• Written Comprehension
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Inductive Reasoning
• Problem Sensitivity
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Personal digital assistants PDA
• Computer scanners
• Analytical or scientific software
• Financial analysis software
• Getting Information
• Working with Computers
• Decision Making
• Analyzing Data
• Communicating with Others

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Bachelor’s Degree

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