What do Petroleum Engineers do?
Petroleum engineers are involved with many of the aspects related to the drawing out of gas and oil. They offer advice based on collected data and they oversee the drilling process. They are highly involved with determining the techniques to be used for extraction, and they help determine if tools need to be modified or switched out for completely new designs.
Petroleum Engineers Skills and Abilities
Petroleum engineers have a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics. Being able to apply their knowledge of technology and engineering is very important to oil production. They also must use physics, math, and computer knowledge in order to do their job. The career demands a number of different abilities and skills. They include the following:
- Management skills
- Coordination of resources and employees
- Ability to allocate resources
- Strategic planning
- Ability to communicate via writing and speaking
- Reasoning and logic skills
- Aptitude to solve complex problems
Petroleum Engineers Duties
The specific activities that engineers perform on any given day are varied. As a petroleum engineer, you need to be able to juggle multiple things at once and make important decisions in an efficient manner. Some examples of daily and weekly duties include:
- Come up with plans for field drilling and for product recovery
- Examine rates of production and ways to improve them if necessary
- Analyze facts and figures for enhanced production and the placement of wells
- Determine the best utilization of staff
- Organize the installation and operation of field equipment
- Take samples of oil to determine the quality, amount, and how to properly remove it
- Apply environmental controls
- Test equipment for safety and performance
- Apply engineering skills to design tools and equipment
In order to be successful on the job, you need to be able to collect information from all applicable sources and use computer software to enter the data and process it properly. You will be communicating constantly with members of management, workers in the field, and other peers. Making decisions based off of collected data and solving all related problems is an important part of the job as well.
Petroleum Engineers Tools and Technology
While you will be spending a good amount of time in the field, you will be using a lot of technology to help you in the decision-making process. Being familiar with all types of computers, scanners, and personal digital organizers is important. You will also be using a variety of different software to be able to do your job correctly. Some of the software that you may be using include scientific, analytical, financial analysis, and project management software.
Education and Training for Petroleum Engineers
The typical education that is required to be a petroleum engineer is a bachelor’s degree. There are a number of engineers who hold a master’s degree as well. Very few of them hold a doctorate degree or associate’s degree.
Petroleum Engineers Salary
The salary for a petroleum engineer will vary depending on a number of factors, including the state in which the job is located. A median salary is around $130,000. However, with the right job and location, it is possible to make more than that. The top earners can make more than $188,000. The lower 10% earn around $75,000 a year.
Petroleum Engineers Jobs by Geography
States that pay engineers the most are Texas, New Jersey, and Alaska. In general, jobs for petroleum engineers are expected to grow faster than many other occupations. The most rapid rate of growth is expected in North Dakota, Colorado, and Texas. States that expect no growth are Indiana, Iowa, and Vermont.