What does a Petroleum Engineer do?

A petroleum engineer is responsible for the designing of drill equipment and planning of methods and techniques used to extract oil and gas from both onshore and offshore reserves. Duties include recommendations of drilling efforts based on cost, effort and feasibility weighed against returns. The career advancement of petroleum engineers typically results in seniority that provides greater independence and decision-making responsibilities for bigger and more challenging projects subject to obtaining a Professional Engineering (PE) license.

Petroleum engineers require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering with a master's degree preferred. Most companies value a professional engineering license which is usually associated with more experienced engineers. Strong candidates will possess high attention to detail along with excellent analytical skills that are conveyed accurately in reports and presentations.

What responsibilities are common for Petroleum Engineer jobs?
  • Design drilling equipment used in the process of extracting oil and gas from both onshore and offshore reserves
  • Make recommendations based on cost, effort and feasibility
  • Devise plans and methods to effectively drill fields to recover oil and gas
  • Develop and modify tools and designs based on performance observation
  • Ensure equipment is installed, operated and maintained properly for effective use
  • Work closely with the procurement team to procure the necessary equipment and tools for projects
  • Work together with geoscientists and other specialists to analyze the geologic formation containing the oil and gas reservoir
  • Monitor drilling operations as needed
What are the typical qualifications for Petroleum Engineer jobs?
  • Master's degree in engineering with coursework in the petroleum industry preferred
  • Professional engineering license preferred
  • Proven experience working as an engineer in the petroleum industry
  • Knowledgeable in engineering drilling techniques and methods
  • Strong industrial knowledge and understanding of market conditions
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good reporting and presentation skills
  • Skilled in computer technology and Microsoft applications
  • Ability to travel offshore as required
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Petroleum Engineer Salaries near Canada

Average Base Pay

$125,024 /yr
Not including cash compensation
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Petroleum Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Petroleum Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Petroleum Engineer I
Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum Engineer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Petroleum Engineer Insights

Read what Petroleum Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
British GasBritish Gas
Technical Gas Engineer
Dec 23, 2022

“Generally good training although I did the apprenticeship nearly a decade ago so may not be the same now.”

Kuwait Oil Company KscKuwait Oil Company Ksc
Senior Drilling Engineer
Aug 30, 2023

“Particularly good for people who are not getting opportunities in competitive market Good for aged professionals.”

Layne ChristensenLayne Christensen
Driller Assistant
Oct 20, 2023

“The main pros is the great pay and if you love to travel and be on the road this may be the job for you.”

Completion Engineer
Feb 26, 2023

“Great place to work and pay is also good”

US Marine CorpsUS Marine Corps
Fuels Specialist
Feb 7, 2023

“Compensation is good and fair”

Berachah Group
Pipeline Engineer
Nov 21, 2023

“Great to work and good environment to thrive and learn.”

Hunt & SonsHunt & Sons
Oil Technician
Jul 22, 2023

“I finally was told i would be given my raise and make the same as everyone else.”

Petroleum Engineer
Feb 2, 2023

“Annual salary increase was not attractive (around 7%”

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Petroleum Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Petroleum Engineer

When working as a Petroleum Engineer, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Evaluating, Conducting, Reviews, Pipeline and Splicing.

The most similar professions to Petroleum Engineer are:
  • Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Process Engineer

The most common qualifications to become a Petroleum Engineer is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

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Petroleum Engineer jobs