Drilling Engineer Salary (United States)

Drilling Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $111,218) surpassing six figures annually. The range in pay spans from $73,351 to $158,440 per year. Career length and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all employees, and a solid majority earn dental coverage. For the most part, Drilling Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Drilling Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$71,150 - $140,748
MEDIAN: $99,021
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National Salary Data

XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$71,150 - $140,748  
$2,010 - $25,328  
Profit Sharing
$1,014 - $15,101  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$73,351 - $158,440  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 237
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Job Description for Drilling Engineer

Drilling engineers are in charge of all aspects of drilling, following project specifications and performing real-time monitoring of drilling operations. They contribute ideas related to drilling methods, change drilling requirements as needed, and take part in planning and optimization of drilling parameters for increased efficiency. Additionally, drilling engineers identify technical operational limiters and participate in project meetings to recommend drilling planning processes changes, as well as analyze offsets and establish initial drilling parameter set points.
Drilling Engineer Tasks
  • Support field supervisors throughout the implementation and assist on-site as needed.
  • Develop cost estimates and risks versus rewards analysis.
  • Develop strategies to achieve well construction and data gathering objectives.
  • Document results, problems and causes and improvement suggestions throughout the implementation.

Drilling Engineer Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Drilling Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
$102K per year, a sizable six-figure salary, is the starting point for workers in this profession. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $144K. After working for two decades in the field, Drilling Engineers experience a drop in salary, averaging $133K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 14 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 11 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10 percent. Age distribution in this workforce is concentrated between one and nine years of experience; a majority of respondents fall in this range.

Pay Difference By Location

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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Those employed in Houston pick up paychecks a little bit higher than the national average; however, location is not the strongest determinant of pay for those in this profession. Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Midland, 12 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Pittsburgh (-5 percent) and Denver (-2 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Drilling Engineer Salaries

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National Average
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Job Satisfaction

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Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 52 votes.


female alumni
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 6%
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