Is Petroleum Engineering a Valuable Career?

Is Petroleum Engineering a Valuable Career?

The median annual wage for petroleum engineers was $130,850 in May 2021. Petroleum engineering has been constantly ranked as one of the highest-paid jobs in the United States even during periods of declined oil prices.

Candidates with a background in petroleum engineering, industrial engineering, or computer engineering are the best choices for petroleum engineering positions. Their education and experience give them an advantage over candidates from other disciplines. In the petroleum engineering work industry, the top paying sector is company management, with various specialist technical skills making up most of the top paying energy positions.

This article discusses the marketability of petroleum engineering graduates in the workplace in the present, and how this can be improved in the future.

Is Petroleum Engineering a Valuable Career

Making a Difference in the World

You want a job where what you do is vital to today’s economy. Petroleum engineers make the drilling process safer for people, communities, wildlife, and the environment.

Petroleum Engineers look at more than just flammable stuff, they contribute to the energy needed to heat our homes, prepare our meals, and power our vehicles.

Highlights about working in the Oil and Gas Industry

1. You desire to work with the top professionals in the field. You want to choose a college where you can graduate on time and where you will be well-prepared for the workforce.

2. You put in a lot of effort, but you also want to have fun. As an engineer, you may work hard and also play hard. Although the engineering curriculum is challenging, it is needed for a well-rounded education.

3. You care deeply about the natural world. Many people don’t connect petroleum engineering with environmental preservation. Engineers may promote change by embracing it themselves.

4. You wish to alter the course of events. You desire a position where the work you do is crucial to modern economies.

Transferrable Skills of a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers may be better prepared than many realize, for such an industry provides professionals with multiple and transferable skills.

Engineering out of the petroleum industry can apply their set of work skills, out of their specialty, since most companies provide a wide range of training and flexibility.

In fields like geothermal energy, subterranean energy storage (including hydrogen), CCUS, offshore wind, essential minerals, and rare earth elements, many geoscience, and petroleum engineering abilities are transferrable.

The transferrable specific skills developed over the years working in the industry, open up many opportunities, enabling exploration and skills in new industries and job titles.

The transferrable job skills section is developed while performing a job or task, which can be applied to other situations in various jobs or industries (Ligman, 2009). An individual can transfer relevant skills acquired through employment, classes, internships, co-ops, research opportunities, study abroad experiences, campus and community activities, etc., to a new career path.

  • Reservoir Characterization, 15.4%
  • Engineering Support, 12.0%
  • Business Development, 10.2%
  • Petrel, 6.9%
  • AFE, 5.1%
  • Economic Analysis, 3.8%
  • Technical Support, 3.2%
  • Other Skills, 43.4%
  • Numerical skills
  • problem-solving
  • Research
  • Laboratory experience
  • Data analysis
  • Project management
  • Teamwork
  • Communication

Future of Petroleum Engineering Career

Prior to 1860, oil was a curious phenomenon that occasionally bubbled up through the earth and served as a lubricant or a source of light for lamps. The era of oil production began in the late 1800s when Edwin Drake drilled the first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. The emergence of the vehicle in this century, along with a steady market of consumers for gasoline, one of oil’s byproducts, led to the world’s richest industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts a growth of 8% in the employment of petroleum engineers from 2020 to 2030, with over 2,000 job openings every year. The BLS defines this rate as average growth, which suggests stability in the profession.


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