Petroleum Engineers
SOC: 17-2171.00


Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
35,100 employed

Projected (2024):
38,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Automation Engineer
  • Chief Engineer
  • Completion Engineer
  • Completions Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Drilling Engineer
  • Drilling Manager
  • Engineer
  • Engineering Consultant
  • Exploration Engineer
  • Facilities Engineer
  • Field Engineer
  • Logging Engineer
  • Mining and Oil Field Equipment Design Engineer
  • Mining and Oil Field Equipment Test Engineer
  • Mining and Oil Well Equipment Research Engineer
  • Mud Analysis Supervisor
  • Mud Analysis Well Logging District Supervisor
  • Mud Engineer
  • Natural Gas Engineer
  • Oil Drilling Engineer
  • Oil Exploration Engineer
  • Oil Well Engineer
  • Oil Well Services Superintendent
  • Operations Engineer
  • Operations Manager
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Petroleum Production Engineer
  • Petroleum Supply Specialist
  • Process Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Project Drilling Engineer
  • Project Production Engineer
  • Project Reservoir Engineer
  • Prospecting Observer
  • Research Chief Engineer
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Reservoir Engineering Consultant
  • Reservoir Engineering Manager
  • Rig Site Engineer
  • Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE)
  • Test Engineer
  • Well Logging Captain
  • Well Logging Mud Analysis Captain
  • Well Site Drilling Engineer
  • Well Surveying Engineer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Assess costs and estimate the production capabilities and economic value of oil and gas wells, to evaluate the economic viability of potential drilling sites.
  • Monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to improve production.
  • Analyze data to recommend placement of wells and supplementary processes to enhance production.
  • Specify and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery.
  • Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing, or well surveys.
  • Assist engineering and other personnel to solve operating problems.
  • Develop plans for oil and gas field drilling, and for product recovery and treatment.
  • Maintain records of drilling and production operations.
  • Confer with scientific, engineering, and technical personnel to resolve design, research, and testing problems.
  • Write technical reports for engineering and management personnel.
  • Evaluate findings to develop, design, or test equipment or processes.
  • Assign work to staff to obtain maximum utilization of personnel.
  • Interpret drilling and testing information for personnel.
  • Design and implement environmental controls on oil and gas operations.
  • Coordinate the installation, maintenance, and operation of mining and oil field equipment.
  • Supervise the removal of drilling equipment, the removal of any waste, and the safe return of land to structural stability when wells or pockets are exhausted.
  • Inspect oil and gas wells to determine that installations are completed.
  • Simulate reservoir performance for different recovery techniques, using computer models.
  • Take samples to assess the amount and quality of oil, the depth at which resources lie, and the equipment needed to properly extract them.
  • Coordinate activities of workers engaged in research, planning, and development.
  • Design or modify mining and oil field machinery and tools, applying engineering principles.
  • Test machinery and equipment to ensure that it is safe and conforms to performance specifications.
  • Conduct engineering research experiments to improve or modify mining and oil machinery and operations.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Computer scanners
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Computer Modelling Group CMG STARS
  • DFA Capital Management GEMS
  • eProduction Solutions PanSystem
  • GeoGraphix ARIES Portfolio
  • IBM Notes
  • Landmark Graphics TOW/cs
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Word
  • Neotec WELLFLO
  • Oracle Primavera Systems software
  • SAP software
  • Schlumberger Information Solutions ECLIPSE Reservoir Engineering Software
  • Schlumberger Petrel
  • Schlumberger PVTi
  • TERRASCIENCES TerraStation
  • TRC Consultants PHDWin
  • Web browser software
  • Well Flow Dynamics Wellflow

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980