Petroleum Engineer Salary
Salaries for Petroleum Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($100K) per year. Final cash compensation to Petroleum Engineers varies from around $59K to approximately $192K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $40K and $30K, respectively. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and location. For the most part, Petroleum Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers design and oversee the production and methods for retrieving oil and natural gas from various depths beneath the earth's surface. Most petroleum engineers work for oil companies. Others work at universities or research facilities.Read More...
Some of these engineers work in the field and help prospecting teams make recommendations on drilling sites based upon the cost, effort and feasibility of retrieving the product from where it is discovered. When a site is selected, these engineers will test the drilling samples and decide which is the safest method for retrieving the oil or gas. In some cases, oil will be under pressure and will rise to the surface without help from the engineer. In other cases, the oil will have to be pumped to the surface.
Another task of petroleum engineers is to design the drilling, pumping, prospecting, and storage equipment that get the job done. These people often work in research and development facilities or colleges, universities and trade schools.
Other petroleum engineers work at drilling sites. These engineers oversee the building and operation of subterranean drills, oil derricks, and other necessary equipment. Once the well is established, they will look for methods that will improve oil and gas production. If necessary, they will design or modify tools or offer technical advice that will help achieve satisfactory economic progress. Engineers in this aspect of their field will usually spend a lot of time working outdoors. They might even work at sea on drilling platforms or specialized drilling ships.
Petroleum engineers design, maintain and build oil pipelines. They may also be employed by oil storage facilities.
Petroleum Engineer Tasks
- Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs.
- Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Petroleum Engineer
Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company, EOG Resources, Inc., Halliburton Energy Services, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation are among the top companies that take on many Petroleum Engineers. The biggest paychecks can be found at Anadarko Petroleum Corp — the median salary there is $181K. Petroleum Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks at BHP Billiton ($163K), Occidental Petroleum Corporation ($147K), and Schlumberger ($145K).
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include ExxonMobil Corporation at $109K, and Halliburton Energy Services where $121K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Petroleum Engineers there earn up to $171K.
Popular Skills for Petroleum Engineer
Survey results imply that Petroleum Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Simulation, Petroleum Engineering, and Well Production Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 15 percent and 17 percent. Data Analysis and Microsoft Word, on the other hand, are typically associated with much lower pay. The majority of those who know Well Production Engineering also know Drilling Engineering and Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation. Those familiar with Reservoir Engineering also tend to know Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation and Drilling Engineering.
Pay by Experience Level for Petroleum Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Petroleum Engineers. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $97K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $122K. On average, Petroleum Engineers make $141K following one to two decades on the job. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $177K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Petroleum Engineers in New Orleans enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. Petroleum Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Farmington (+30 percent), Bakersfield (+26 percent), Denver (+25 percent), and Los Angeles (+22 percent). Petroleum Engineers in San Antonio make 29 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers pay around 22 percent less in Texas City and 8 percent less in Fort Worth, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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Key Stats for Petroleum Engineer
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 52 votes.