Types of Degrees Petroleum Engineering Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many petroleum engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Petroleum Engineering Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to petroleum engineering were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Petroleum Engineering Majors
Petroleum Engineering majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Skills for Petroleum Engineering Majors
A major in petroleum engineering prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Petroleum Engineering Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a petroleum engineering student include the following:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Petroleum Engineering Major?
People with a petroleum engineering degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||5.5%||$140,760|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of petroleum engineering majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||8|
|Hispanic or Latino||18|
Petroleum Engineering appeals to people across the globe. About 68.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Petroleum Engineering Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in petroleum engineering made a median starting salary of $72,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $72,200 (25th percentile) and $72,200 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to petroleum engineering so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $113,680 to $156,370 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to petroleum engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Petroleum Engineering
Some careers associated with petroleum engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to petroleum engineering have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||0.7%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||5.4%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||3.0%|
Online Petroleum Engineering Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 30 schools offered some type of petroleum engineering program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||1||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||15||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||0|
Is a Degree in Petroleum Engineering Worth It?
The median salary for a petroleum engineering grad is $148,970 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 273% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $2,181,400 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to Petroleum Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to petroleum engineering.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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