Career Detail

Petroleum Engineer
“We find black gold!”
Petroleum engineers design plans, equipment, and methods to efficiently locate and extract natural gas and oil.
Average Pay: $135,000    Qualifications: B.S., Petroleum Engineering
The Job
The major job responsibility of petroleum engineers includes planning and extraction to find out the resources of natural gas. All drilling activities are performed under the supervision of the engineers. Multiple methods are used for drilling. Whether it is the methods of drilling or the equipment used in the process, everything is decided and determined by engineers. In addition, engineers also guide and supervise the workers on how to perform the drilling activity. Before the entire procedure of drilling begins, engineers first test samples taken from the reservoir. Depending on what they detect in the testing, they choose appropriate tools and techniques to be used. Not only this, but petroleum engineers are also involved in the designing of the equipment so that maximum profit can be obtained. Engineers can not only depend on natural forces to collect gas and oil in the reservoir. In order to extract maximum amount of these resources, engineers use a variety of techniques and chemicals. To maximize the amount of extracted gas and oil, they inject materials like gas, steam and different chemicals. A lot of research and development work is also involved in the process. Engineers conduct researches to come up with cost-effective methods of drilling.
Work Environment
Petroleum engineers work in office buildings, laboratories, or industrial plants. Some may spend time outdoors at exploration and production sites.
College Majors
Petroleum Engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, geophysics
Minimum Qualifications
A bachelor degree in petroleum engineering or a relevant field is the minimum educational requirement to become a petroleum engineer. Apart from obtaining a petroleum engineering degree, there are many professionals who enter this field with a degree in mining engineering, mechanical engineering, ci
Personality traits helpful for this career
Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail oriented.
Quick Facts
  • *Consulting contracts for PE's in remote locations can be extremely lucrative
  • *Can create new processes that save and yeild billions.
  • *Not enough graduates to meet demand
Compensation and Outlook
$108,000 per year was the median salary for 2009. The top 10% of PE's make over $166,000, amongst the highest of the engineering group.
Comments and Updates
If you are a professional in this field please post comments so we can make this section the best and most relevant. Comments and updates are reviewed by our staff prior to posting. Post your comments
1/7/2012 10:43:52 AM
That's a sulbte way of thinking about it.
Comment or Update:

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