Find Grad Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Petroleum Engineer

Find Schools Near

What You Need to Know About Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum Engineer Example Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.

Life As a Petroleum Engineer

  • Write technical reports for engineering and management personnel.
  • Take samples to assess the amount and quality of oil, the depth at which resources lie, and the equipment needed to properly extract them.
  • Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.
  • Test machinery and equipment to ensure that it is safe and conforms to performance specifications.
  • Design and implement environmental controls on oil and gas operations.
  • Analyze data to recommend placement of wells and supplementary processes to enhance production.

Skills Needed to be a Petroleum Engineer

Below is a list of the skills most Petroleum Engineers say are important on the job.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Mining and Oil Well Equipment Research Engineer
  • Mining and Oil Field Equipment Test Engineer
  • Logging Engineer
  • Test Engineer
  • Chief Engineer

What Kind of Petroleum Engineer Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 33,700 jobs in the United States for Petroleum Engineer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 15.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,100 new jobs for Petroleum Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,800 positions for Petroleum Engineer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Petroleum Engineer are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in California, Alaska, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Petroleum Engineers Salary

The typical yearly salary for Petroleum Engineers is somewhere between $74,270 and $208,000.


Petroleum Engineers who work in Indiana, New Jersey, or Texas, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Petroleum Engineers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $115,180
Alaska $161,290
Arizona $137,830
California $142,430
Colorado $153,640
Hawaii $121,050
Illinois $131,510
Indiana $198,590
Kansas $118,160
Louisiana $145,880
Montana $141,530
New Jersey $194,340
North Dakota $124,880
Ohio $94,270
Oklahoma $146,990
Pennsylvania $122,510
Texas $169,010
West Virginia $111,400
Wyoming $115,250

What Tools do Petroleum Engineers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Petroleum Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • IBM Notes
  • R
  • Oracle software
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Google Analytics

How do I Become a Petroleum Engineer?

What education is needed to be a Petroleum Engineer?


What work experience do I need to become a Petroleum Engineer?


Petroleum Engineers Sector


Below are examples of industries where Petroleum Engineers work:



Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Graduate Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited graduate schools across the U.S.