Petroleum Engineers Earn Above Average Salaries

April 3rd, 2014 by

When today’s Generation Y workers decide on a career, they have many options that people from previous generations simply did not have. Many old-time favorites, however, are still there. For those individuals who are primarily motivated by the earnings potential of their job, recently conducted some research and came up with very interesting results.

According to the study, the jobs with top earning potential generally fall into three categories: Engineering, IT and top-level management. Engineering and IT jobs are well paid because of the high levels of skill the jobs require, while management jobs typically offer large salaries because of the workload and responsibilities associated with those occupations.

At the top of PayScale’s list was the job of Petroleum Engineer. With a median annual salary of $98,100, it is certainly one of the best career options for someone looking for a highly paid and challenging job.

What The Work Involves

When a new drilling site opens up, petroleum engineers very often work side by side with geologists to determine how the drilling should commence. The knowledge of both the engineer and the geologist is vital in this regard because the most efficient equipment and techniques for the particular rock formations of the drilling site have to be selected.

After making a decision about the most appropriate equipment for the task, petroleum engineers then have to ensure that the equipment is properly installed and that the people who work with and maintain the systems know how the equipment works and how it should be maintained.

Petroleum engineers also research new techniques and systems that will enable the company to extract a higher percentage of the available resources at a particular drilling site.

Other tasks may include studying data in order to recommend where processing machinery and wells should be placed; carefully supervising production rates and modifying processes where necessary in order to improve production; taking samples to establish the quantity and quality of oil, the depth at which it lies and the best kind of equipment that would be required to extract the oil; and modifying tools and machinery to improve production.


A minimum of a Bachelor’s in Engineering is required to get started on this career path. An online engineering degree could form a solid foundation for a future career in this field. Find out how you can earn your degree online from an accredited school by visiting

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *