Petroleum Engineer

Occupation Information table
Overview: Petroleum engineers measure earth's sonic, electrical and radioactive characteristics in reservoirs containing oil or natural gas. They study the geologic formation and properties of the rock containing the reservoir. They determine drilling methods and technology to recover the oil and gas.
Duties: They evaluate potential productivity of oil and gas bearing reservoirs through the use of sonic, electrical or nuclear measuring instruments.

Interpret the measurements and graphs created and advise the owners of the reservoir of the quality and quantity of the oil or gas and the potential productivity of the reservoir.

Analyze and describe the porosity and the geological formation of the soil and rock found in core samples of a reservoir's bore holes. They determine the drilling methods to use.

Create maps & diagrams of subsurface formations to describe the locations of gas & oil deposits. Design equipment and processes to recover oil and gas. They oversee drilling & recovery.

Degree(s): A.S. Engineering Science 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 9% to 13% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average projected growth for all occupations.
Starting Salary: Bonuses of up to 15% can be earned for overseas assignments.
Salary Range (National Average): $51,000 to $58,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering consisting of courses in geology, chemistry and land surveying is the typical educational background needed for an entry position. Additional courses in civil engineering, fluid mechanics and computer-assisted drafting are important. Most states require certification by passing a written examination.
Advancement Info: Beginning engineering graduates usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers and, in large companies, also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As new engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions. Engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a staff or team of engineers and technicians. Some may eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial or sales jobs.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Using mathematics and/or statistics to solve problems.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
  • Analyzing the symptoms of a problem and deciding what actions should be taken to resolve the problem.
Recommended Values:
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.