Drilling Engineer Salary (United States)

Salaries for Drilling Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($111,218) per year. Pay generally spreads from $73,351 to $158,440 per year. Total cash income, which bottoms out near $71,150 and peaks near $140,748, incorporates potential for more than $25K from bonuses and close to $15,101 from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Experience level and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Drilling Engineers. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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.
Compensation begins at $102K per year, a generous six-figure sum for those just starting out in the field. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $144K. Unfortunately, Drilling Engineers with considerable experience—two decades in the field—see paychecks plunge to $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. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work—of those who took the survey, a majority land within this radius.

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Salaries in this field are not heavily influenced by location; however, folks working in Houston do earn a bit more than the national average. Midland ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 12 percent below the national average. Employers pay around -5 percent in Pittsburgh and -2 percent in Denver, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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