If you’ve been paying attention to any of the latest news reports, then you’ve probably already heard that petroleum engineering is a lucrative profession. Educated and skilled individuals in this field command huge salaries, and it makes it all the more advantageous to pursue your studies and become a petroleum engineer. Still, it’s important to look at the specifics and see for yourself how much a petroleum engineer earns.
According to many different reports and studies, individuals with bachelor degrees in petroleum engineering have the highest starting salary of any bachelor degree in the country right now, period. The average starting salary right out of college here is about $80,500, which is off the charts. The BLS reports that starting salary to be even higher, at over $83,000, according to a July 2009 survey. And that’s just the starting point and the beginning of what you can expect to see as you move along with your career, so the earnings potential is huge indeed.
The most complete and specific date for how much petroleum engineers earn comes from the latest Occupational Employment Statistics information from the BLS, from May 2010. This shows that the mean annual wage for all petroleum engineers is $127,970. That’s just the average, and it means that you can earn even more than that. It’s the highest earning engineering discipline or field, and all engineers make and command great salaries.
Diving even deeper into the data shows that the top 75% of the field earn more than $158,000, and the top 90% earn more than $166,000. There are many factors which will affect whether or not you see these types of salaries, including your level of education, your years of experience, and what industry or type of employment you specifically have. For example, in the management of companies, individuals earn an average of over $140,000, while in technical consulting, they earn an average of about $128,000.
Your location will also have an impact on how much you earn. Amongst states with high levels of employment for petroleum engineers, Alaska offers the highest mean salary, at over $157,000. Next up is Oklahoma with a mean of almost $143,000, and then Texas, with a mean of about $131,700. Texas is also the state with the most petroleum engineers, with over 15,500 jobs in the state, which makes sense considering the industries, companies and resources located there.
So if you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz and hype about petroleum engineering and how much people earn in this field, it’s not all conjecture. The data shows that it’s absolutely legit. It’s the highest paying bachelors degree for entry level professionals, and then with the right combination of experience and education, you can double that lofty figure before all is said and done. Petroleum engineering is in demand, and it offers off the charts salaries, so if you’ve been on the fence about pursuing this as a career, now’s the time to convince yourself to get moving.