Graduate Salary
4 years
Avg Length

Petroleum Engineering Requirements

Petroleum engineers use cutting-edge technology to create new methods of discovering and drilling for oil. They locate, recover, and maintain the world's oil and gas supplies. As the demand for new energy processes and resources continues to increase, so does the demand for petroleum engineers.

Most petroleum engineering degrees exist at the master's level, however, petroleum engineering can be quite rewarding even without an advanced degree. A graduate with a bachelor's degree can expect to move into a challenging assignment quickly, but petroleum engineers usually seek a master's degree to qualify for positions in technical or managerial areas. A PhD is usually the path to take for a research and/or teaching career.

Petroleum engineering students take basic engineering courses before moving into more specialized classes like geology, well drilling, reservoir fluids, fluid flow, petroleum production, and reservoir analysis.

Petroleum Engineering Careers

The career trajectory of people with a Petroleum Engineering degree appears to be focused around a few careers. The most common career that users with Petroleum Engineering degrees have experience in is Petroleum Engineer, followed by Engineer, Drafter, Sales Engineer, Sales Manager, Project Manager, Retail Salesperson, Childcare Worker, Aircraft Mechanic, and Electrician.

Career % of graduates % of population Multiple
Petroleum Engineer 19.3% 0.0% 462.3×
Engineer 1.8% 1.0% 1.8×
Drafter 1.9% 0.2% 10.1×
Sales Engineer 1.9% 0.2% 12.2×
Sales Manager 0.9% 1.1% 0.8×
Project Manager 0.9% 1.2% 0.8×
Retail Salesperson NA NA NA
Childcare Worker NA NA NA
Aircraft Mechanic 1.0% 0.2% 6.3×
Electrician 0.9% 0.3% 2.8×

Petroleum Engineering Salary

Petroleum Engineering graduates earn on average $110k, putting them in the 100th percentile of earners with a degree.

Percentile Earnings after graduation ($1000s USD)
25th (bottom earners) $95k
Median (average earners) $110k
75th (top earners) $125k

Petroleum Engineering Underemployment

Petroleum Engineering graduates are highly employed compared to other graduates. We have collected data on three types of underemployment. Part-time refers to work that is less than 30 hours per week. Non-college refers to work that does not require a college degree. Low-paying includes a list of low-wage service jobs such as janitorial work, serving, or dishwashing.

Employment Type Proportion of graduates
Jobs that don't require college 19%
Part-Time 13%
Low-paying 10%

Petroleum Engineering Jobs

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Petroleum Engineering Colleges