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Drilling Engineer Salary (United States)

Bountiful salaries abound for Drilling Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($111K) per year. In the world of Drilling Engineers, overall income ranges from $73K near the bottom to $158K at the top; this can include more than $25K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The vast majority enjoy medical while a solid majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Drilling Engineers. Replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire form the basis for this summary.
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.
Annually raking in $102K, the average professional in this position sees a six-figure salary within the first five years. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $144K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $133K. More than half of respondents report having between one and nine years of experience in this field. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up nearly one in seven of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise approximately one in ten, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10 percent.

Pay Difference By Location

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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Drilling Engineers working in Houston make slightly more than the national average, but overall, geography does not significantly influence pay in this role. Midland is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 12 percent. Employers pay around 5 percent less in Pittsburgh and 2 percent less in Denver, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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%