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Petroleum Engineer

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What Do Petroleum Engineer Do?

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

  • Interpret drilling and testing information for 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.
  • Conduct engineering research experiments to improve or modify mining and oil machinery and operations.
  • Inspect oil and gas wells to determine that installations are completed.
  • Write technical reports for engineering and management personnel.
  • Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Petroleum Engineer?

When polled, Petroleum Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Types of Petroleum Engineer

  • Mining and Oil Field Equipment Design Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Oil Well Engineer
  • Mud Engineer
  • Oil Drilling Engineer

Job Outlook for Petroleum Engineers

In the United States, there were 33,700 jobs for Petroleum Engineer in 2016. 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 typical yearly salary for Petroleum Engineers is somewhere 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 each U.S. state?

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?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Petroleum Engineers:

  • 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

Becoming a Petroleum Engineer

Education needed to be a Petroleum Engineer:

Petroleum Engineer Degree Level

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

Petroleum Engineer Work Experience

Who Employs Petroleum Engineers?

Petroleum Engineer Sectors

Petroleum Engineers work in the following industries:

Petroleum Engineer Industries


Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

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