Petroleum engineering is a field that has been creating a lot of buzz as of late. A lot of that has to do with the great salaries which are reported for individuals in this field. Whether you’ve been drawn in for that reason or anything else, it’s important to know how to become a petroleum engineer so you can follow the right course and know what to expect. Use this guide to learn all about becoming a petroleum engineer and the steps involved.
Petroleum engineers will need a minimum of a bachelors degree in order to enter the workforce. A bachelors of petroleum engineering is offered at many leading universities, and there are even online programs offering this as an option. Alternatively, you can major in a discipline such as mining or geology engineering, or industrial engineering, and take the right mix of classes to provide you with the background education which will be necessary to take the next step.
Many individuals also pursue a master’s level degree in petroleum engineering. This will provide you with really fine-tuned knowledge and skills in the field, and will enable you to hit the ground running and find the best jobs. However, postgraduate education is not a requirement of the field, but you will find that many employers specifically do look for that.
After obtaining your bachelor’s degree in either petroleum engineering or a more all-purpose engineering discipline, it’s time to begin the certification and licensure process. At this point, you have to take Fundamentals of Engineering exam, or the FE. Successful completion of this national exam will make you an Engineer in Training, or an Engineering Intern, EIT or EI. Those are interchangeable terms, but either way, this status will allow you to be employed in the field.
Now you need to obtain four years of supervised work experience before you can take the next and final step towards full licensure. With four years of in the field experience and supervision, you can take the second national exam, which is the PPE, or Principles and Practices of Engineering. Once you pass this, you’ll be a fully licensed Professional Engineer.
This still doesn’t mean you’re a certified petroleum engineer. You’ll be able to work in the field and advance up the ladder with the right opportunities, but to become a certified engineer, you have to turn to the Society of Petroleum Engineers. They are the official organization from petroleum engineers, and they provide a petroleum engineering certification for Professional Engineers based on the right combination of education, experience and ongoing educational credits to maintain the latest standards and best practices.
So there you have it, now you should have a pretty good idea about how to become a petroleum engineer. From your undergraduate bachelors diploma in engineering to the engineering examinations and certification with SPE, becoming a petroleum engineer can be a long journey but one which will provide great dividends and enable you to pursue an amazing, rewarding and in-demand career.