Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering: One of the Highest-Paid Jobs Globally

If you have ever searched for jobs with the best salaries, you must have noticed that pretty much every list is topped by Petroleum Engineer. While people living in states rich with and enriched by oil know all about the oil man’s lifestyle, others around the world might not be so familiar with the rewards the job offers – both psychological and monetary. In this article, we shall explore why petroleum engineering is a rewarding career and how you can become a petroleum engineer.  


Why are Petroleum Engineers so Well Paid?

Petroleum engineering deals with the study, exploration, extraction, and distribution of oil and natural gas reserves. Graduates in petroleum engineering are called petroleum engineers. Petroleum engineers are the ones who determine how to extract oil from the ground. 

The methods they create for extracting oil from all sorts of wells determine exactly how valuable a particular oil well will be for the oil company. They also spend time devising ways to make older wells more productive in the amount of oil they produce. Thus, these engineers have a huge impact on a company’s profitability. Because the petroleum sector is a huge revenue generator, petroleum engineering continues to be one of the highest-paid jobs globally. 


How Much is an Average Petroleum Engineer Paid in the US?

The simple answer is, A LOT!

But here’s the break up for you, as estimated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Petroleum Engineers earn an average salary of $137,330 (as of May 2020). The lowest 10 percent earned less than $78,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000.

Petroleum engineers typically work full time. Overtime may be necessary when traveling to and from drilling and well sites to help in their operation or respond to problems when they arise.


Job Market for Petroleum Engineers in the US

Employment in petroleum engineering is expected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

There are currently an estimated 28,50 petroleum engineers in the United States. About 2,100 openings for petroleum engineers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as retiring.

While these are projected job outlooks, it should be noted that oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth. Because many petroleum engineers work in oil and gas extraction, any changes in oil prices will likely affect employment levels. Higher prices can cause oil and gas companies to increase capital investment in new facilities and expand existing production operations. Typically, companies also expand exploration for new reserves of oil and gas when prices are high.

However, the demand for petroleum engineers in support activities for mining should continue to be strong, as large oil and gas companies find it convenient and cost-effective to contract production and drilling work to these firms as needed.


How to Become a Petroleum Engineer

If you wish to become a petroleum engineer, our suggestion is to start preparing from High School by choosing a program rich in science and math because these will be vital early foundations in the field. In addition to courses in these directly related subject areas, foreign language study is recommended given the international nature of the occupation.

Petroleum engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably petroleum engineering. However, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, civil, or chemical engineering may meet employer requirements. Employers also value work experience, so college cooperative education programs, in which students earn academic credit and job experience, are valuable as well.

While a Bachelor’s degree is viewed as the most valuable and versatile credential in the field of petroleum engineering, students who pursue a related Master’s or Ph.D. will, following experience in the field, be considered prime candidates for management roles, university faculty appointments, or advanced research positions.

Do you want to know more about making the right choice for your college and career?
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