PETROLEUM ENGINEERS search the world for underground reservoirs containing oil or natural gas. When one is discovered, they work with others to understand the geologic formation and properties of the rock containing the reservoir. They determine the drilling methods to be used, and monitor drilling and production operations. They design equipment and processes to achieve the maximum profitable recovery of oil and gas. They rely heavily on computer models to simulate reservoir performance using different recovery techniques. They also use computer models for simulations of the effects of various drilling options.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $112,000 average per year ($53.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (28,200 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.8% per year)
A bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program is usually required for beginning PETROLEUM ENGINEERS. Many engineers obtain a master's degree in engineering to learn new technology, to broaden their education, and to enhance their promotion opportunities. Registration may be required for petroleum engineers. Requirements include a degree from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), four years of relevant work experience, references, and a passing grade on two national examinations.