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 Product Safety Engineer, Drafter, Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Sheet Metal Worker, Chemical Technician, Exercise Physiologist, Non-Destructive Testing Specialist, and Air Crew Member.

Career % of graduates % of population Multiple
Petroleum Engineer 21.8% 0.0% 487.9×
Product Safety Engineer 3.0% 0.0% 1886.3×
Drafter 2.1% 0.2% 11.0×
Engineer 2.1% 1.0% 2.1×
Nuclear Engineer 1.3% 0.0% 54.4×
Sheet Metal Worker 1.2% 0.0% 33.5×
Chemical Technician 1.2% 0.1% 22.3×
Exercise Physiologist 1.2% 0.1% 18.1×
Non-Destructive Testing Specialist 1.2% 0.1% 16.3×
Air Crew Member 1.1% 0.1% 16.2×

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 Employment

Petroleum Engineering graduates are not very underemployed 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 Employment potential
Low-paying 90%
Part-Time 87%
Jobs that don't require college 81%

Petroleum Engineering Jobs

Petroleum Engineering Colleges