Drilling Engineer Salary

Salaries for Drilling Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($99K) per year. Final cash compensation to Drilling Engineers varies from around $74K to approximately $159K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $25K and $16K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by career duration, but the specific employer and geography are influential factors as well. Most Drilling Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$71,493 - $142,908

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$71,493 - $142,908  
$2,006 - $25,302  
Profit Sharing
$990 - $15,781  
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).
$74,060 - $158,570  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 264
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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.

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Pay by Experience Level for Drilling Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Drilling Engineers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries can reach six figures almost right off the bat; beginning workers who have less than five years' experience bring in a median of $101K per year. After working for 10 to 20 years, Drilling Engineers make a median salary of $142K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $150K.

Pay Difference by Location

Anchorage offers some of the highest pay in the country for Drilling Engineers, 10 percent above the national average. Drilling Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+4 percent) and Oklahoma City (+3 percent). The lowest-paying market is Midland, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Pittsburgh (3 percent lower) and Denver (1 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Drilling Engineer Salaries

up arrow 38%

up arrow 30%

up arrow 13%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.


6 %
94 %

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: 94% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 5%