How to Begin a Professional Career as a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum Engineers: A Quick Look
Median Salary$130,280 per annum
Entry-level educationBachelor’s degree
On-the-job trainingNo
Primary employersOil and gas extraction
Number of positions (U.S.)38,500
Job Growth (2010-2020)26% (Much Faster Than the Average Job)
New positions (2010-2020)+9,800

How to Begin a Professional Career as a Petroleum EngineerWhat Is A Petroleum Engineer?

A petroleum engineer devises methods and strategies for extracting oil and gas extraction and production. They may oversee and implement the creation of new drilling operations. Read more.


A median annual salary for a petroleum engineer is $130,280. Read more.

Becoming A Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers must obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, usually with a specialization in petroleum engineering. Find out how to begin a professional career as a Petroleum Engineer here. Read more.
Find a Local or Online Petroleum Engineer School That’s Right for You

Job Outlook

Job growth for petroleum engineers is projected at 26% from 2012-2022, which is far above the projected national job growth. Oil prices will have a significant impact on the employment opportunities available to new graduates in coming years. Read more.

Petroleum Engineer Salary How much does a petroleum engineer make? The median petroleum engineer salary was $130,280 in 2012, according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10% of petroleum engineers earned $187,200 or more, while the bottom 10% earned $75,030 or less. An average petroleum engineer’s salary of $130,280 was significantly higher than that of the average engineer, which was $86,200 in the 2012 study.

Job Outlook In 2010, there were 38,500 individuals employed as petroleum engineers in the United States. Job growth for petroleum engineers is projected at 26% from 2012-2022, meaning that there will be an additional 9,800 job positions created during that time period. The job growth of 26% for petroleum engineers far exceeded or surpassed the average national job growth rate of 11%. However, these projections will be affected significantly be the rise and fall of oil prices in the coming years. Higher oil prices means oil companies will expand aggressively, leading to a greater push for innovation and new extraction methods, as well as further drilling operations. This means greater demand for petroleum engineers. In addition to traditional careers in oil and gas, there is an emerging demand for petroleum engineering graduates in the fields of underground waste disposal, geothermal energy production, coal gasification, and environmental clean up.


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