Petroleum Engineering

Installs, operates, & maintains oil equipment properly

How to become a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in petroleum engineering. However, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or chemical engineering may also suffice. Employers also value work experience, so cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured job experience, are valuable as well.

What they do (one sentence)

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

What is the job outlook for this career?

Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations, which requires more engineers for each drilling operation.
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