All You Need to Know About a Career as a Petroleum Engineer

All You Need to Know About a Career as a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineering is a technical field that involves exploring the earth for oil and gas reserves, designing equipment and extraction processes to obtain them, and working to minimize environmental impact. Petroleum engineers work in laboratories, in the field, both onshore and offshore, and may have responsibilities that include project or team management. To pursue a career in petroleum engineering, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field, such as chemical or mechanical engineering. Continuing education is required to maintain licensure, which is also necessary to work in this field.

Successful petroleum engineers must have strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and effective communication skills. Joining professional organizations, such as the Society of Petroleum Engineers, can provide valuable networking opportunities and information about job openings.

Salary Data for Petroleum Engineers

The average salary for petroleum engineers ranges from $142,500.80 to $153,400.00 per year depending on job level and payment method. However, the US National Average salary for all workers in this occupation is $151,736.00 – $153,192.00 per year. The salary data shows that petroleum engineers who are part of a union earn a higher salary than those who are not. The geography with the highest average salary for petroleum engineers is Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, where non-unionized professionals earn an average of $161,636.80 per year. On the other hand, Oklahoma has the lowest average salary for full-time petroleum engineers at $143,748.80 – $154,668.80 per year.


The petroleum engineering field is a challenging yet rewarding one that can make a significant impact on the energy industry. As demand for energy continues to grow, the need for skilled petroleum engineers is also likely to grow. Those interested in pursuing a career in petroleum engineering can expect a competitive salary, particularly if they obtain union membership and work in high-paying states like Texas.