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All About Petroleum Engineers

Example of Petroleum Engineer Job 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

  • Inspect oil and gas wells to determine that installations are completed.
  • Assist engineering and other personnel to solve operating problems.
  • Design or modify mining and oil field machinery and tools, applying engineering principles.
  • Interpret drilling and testing information for personnel.
  • Maintain records of drilling and production operations.
  • Coordinate activities of workers engaged in research, planning, and development.

Petroleum Engineer Required Skills

Petroleum Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Rig Site Engineer
  • Operations Engineer
  • Drilling Engineer
  • Well Logging Mud Analysis Captain
  • Drilling Manager

Petroleum Engineer Employment Estimates

There were about 33,700 jobs for Petroleum Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,800 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Petroleum Engineers in U.S.

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.

Petroleum Engineer Average Salary

The average yearly salary of a Petroleum Engineer ranges between $74,270 and $208,000.

Salary Ranges for Petroleum Engineers

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

How much do Petroleum Engineers make 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 to Become a Petroleum Engineer

Individuals working as a Petroleum Engineer have obtained the following education levels:

Petroleum Engineer Degree Level

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

Petroleum Engineer Work Experience

Where Petroleum Engineers Work

Petroleum Engineer Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Petroleum Engineers work:

Petroleum Engineer Industries


Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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