Drilling Engineer Salary

Drilling Engineers in the United States see excellent average salaries — about $99K annually. In the world of Drilling Engineers, overall income ranges from $74K near the bottom to $161K at the top; this can include more than $26K from bonuses and more than $24K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is experience level, though the specific employer and location have a (lesser) impact as well. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$71,234 - $143,608
MEDIAN: $98,748

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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.
$71,234 - $143,608  
$2,010 - $26,014  
Profit Sharing
$997 - $24,240  
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).
$73,586 - $160,954  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 267
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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.

Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $101K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $121K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $142K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $150K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

For Drilling Engineers, Anchorage provides a pay rate that is 10 percent greater than the national average. Drilling Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Oklahoma City (+9 percent) and Houston (+3 percent). Falling short of the national average by 11 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Midland. Employers in Pittsburgh and Denver also lean toward paying below-median salaries (3 percent lower and 2 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Drilling Engineer Salaries

up arrow 37%

up arrow 30%

up arrow 11%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.


7 %
93 %

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: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 6%