Petroleum Engineer Salary

On average, Petroleum Engineers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($100K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Cash earnings for Petroleum Engineers — which occasionally include more than $38K from bonuses and more than $29K from profit sharing — stretch from around $64K to approximately $192K. Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and location are driving factors as well. Work is enjoyable for Petroleum Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$61,502 - $165,453
(Median)
$62K
$100K
$170K
MEDIAN: $99,611
10%
50%
90%

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$16.48 - $98.07
(Median)
$16
$48
$98
MEDIAN: $48.00
10%
50%
90%

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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.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$61,502 - $165,453  
   
Bonus
$485.81 - $37,623  
Profit Sharing
$103.65 - $29,205  
Commission
$12,578  
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).
)
$63,873 - $192,042  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,535
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$70$140$210
Hourly Rate
$16.48 - $98.07  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.44  
Overtime
$10.05 - $202.73  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$140K$280K$420K
Bonus
$485.81 - $37,623  
   
Commission
$12,578  
Profit Sharing
$103.65 - $29,205  
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).
)
$63,873 - $192,042  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 85
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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.

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Petroleum Engineer Tasks

  • Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs.

Petroleum Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Petroleum Engineer


Petroleum Engineers flock to Chevron Corporation, British Petroleum (BP), Schlumberger, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Oil Company, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. BHP Billiton offers the largest salaries in town — $163K on average. Soaring salaries can also be found at Anadarko Petroleum Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and Schlumberger, where earnings of $158K, $147K, or $143K are standard for Petroleum Engineers.

ExxonMobil Corporation offers the least money; the median income there is just $103K. The pay range is also pretty narrow, as compensation generally sits between $76K and $213K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include British Petroleum (BP) at $104K, and Baker Hughes Inc where $114K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Petroleum Engineers there earn up to $325K.

Popular Skills for Petroleum Engineer


Survey takers working as Petroleum Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Well Production Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Reservoir Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 19 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Word. Those who learned Well Production Engineering also tend to know Drilling Engineering, Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation, and Engineering Design. The majority of those who know Reservoir Engineering also know Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation.

Pay by Experience Level for Petroleum Engineer

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


Petroleum Engineers with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $97K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $123K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Petroleum Engineers see a median salary of $151K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $190K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $104,789

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Petroleum Engineers, Fort Worth offers exceptional salaries, 27 percent above the national average. Petroleum Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Anchorage (+16 percent), Bakersfield (+12 percent), Houston (+9 percent), and Dallas (+5 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Pittsburgh, 15 percent below the national average. Austin and Tulsa are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 9 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively.

Petroleum Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Petroleum Engineer?

Petroleum Engineer in Midland:
"Petroleum Engineering is for the relentless puzzle solver."
Pros: There is always a new obstacle, problem, or puzzle to solve. Success is dependent on team execution, and people skills are just as - or even more - important than technical skills. The industry is fascinating and dynamic, and technological advancement keeps the job fresh and exciting.
Cons: The phone is always ringing. The oilfield doesn't stop for you to sleep. Oil prices dictate employment opportunities, and end a lot of them.

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Experience Affects Petroleum Engineer Salaries




National Average
$105,000


Skills That Affect Petroleum Engineer Salaries



Petroleum Engineering
up arrow 13%





Drilling Engineering
up arrow 3%

National Average
$105,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 160 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
17%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
medical benefits
Vision: 67%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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