Drilling Engineer Salary

Salaries for Drilling Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($99K) per year. Cash earnings for Drilling Engineers — including $26K in bonuses and $24K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $74K to $161K depending on individual performance. Career duration is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and location are driving factors as well. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. The majority of Drilling Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$71,272 - $143,511
MEDIAN: $98,722

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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.
$71,272 - $143,511  
$2,010 - $26,014  
Profit Sharing
$993 - $24,468  
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).
$73,655 - $160,802  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 268
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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. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $101K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $123K. Drilling Engineers bring in $141K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $150K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

Surpassing the national average by 10 percent, Drilling Engineers in Anchorage receive some of the highest pay in the country. Drilling Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Oklahoma City (+10 percent) and Houston (+4 percent). Midland is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 11 percent. Employers pay around 3 percent less in Pittsburgh and 1 percent less in Denver, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Drilling Engineer Salaries

up arrow 37%

up arrow 29%

up arrow 12%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 46 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: 68% employee benefits None: 6%