A petroleum engineering degree is your first class ticket to one of the most lucrative professions in the world. In fact, a B.S. in petroleum engineering will earn you the highest starting salary for any bachelors degree that is available, pulling in over $98,000 per year for your first assignment. Not a bad way to enter the workforce, and when you have the scientific expertise and interest to back it up, it’s a rewarding and challenging experience as well.
A petroleum engineering degree will prepare you to handle just about any task or responsibility in the complex climate of obtaining oil, including locating and analyzing reserves, obtaining that oil through drilling and other mediums, transportation, refining and more.
Your journey will begin by acquainting yourself with the earth sciences, such as geology, as well as other sciences like physics and chemistry. A background in mathematics is also a major plus. From there, you’ll hone your skills through specific industry-related courses, dealing with petroleum production, reservoir analysis, drilling and much more.
Online Petroleum Engineering Programs
The field of petroleum engineering is more reliant on computers than ever before, making it an ideal match for online studying. From the comfort and convenience of your home, you’ll be able to obtain your petroleum engineering degree, utilizing all of the same analysis, demonstrations, simulations, graphical interfaces and more which a traditional, on-campus student would. You’ll also have the added benefit of being able to finish your degree in less time than ever before, accelerating your schedule and finishing a complete bachelors in about half the time it would otherwise take.
What Are The Job Opportunities For Those With A Petroleum Engineering Degree?
The job opportunities are endless for a motivated individual coming out of school with a petroleum engineering degree. That’s been the case for quite some time, but it’s even more true today, because of the way the industry has been changing and evolving. New technologies are continually being tested and deployed for deep sea drilling, for example, create a burgeoning sub-field to the main industry.
Not only that, but there is more of an environmental focus than ever before, as well as a focus on safety. Being able to come up with cleaner, safer technologies and methods, and more efficient processes, is high on everyone’s agenda, and there are more new jobs in this arena as well. You’ll see that there are jobs in the massive private sector companies, as well as with government agencies and even nonprofits.
Many individuals pursue a masters or higher level degree to compliment a B.S. in petroleum engineering. It’s not necessary, although this is the most common route, and finding an adequate B.S. program that teaches everything a postgraduate program does may be daunting.
Nevertheless, once you wrap up your studying you’ll be ready to venture into this dynamic field. And oh yes, we did mention the $98,000+ starting salary, right? A petroleum engineering degree is in very high demand, and you’ll be rewarded financially with a huge salary and with an exciting work environment as a result.
Should You Consider Doing a Petroleum Engineering Degree?
The field of petroleum engineering has been garnering a lot of attention over the past few years. There are several reasons for this, and we’ll get to those shortly. But more importantly for prospective students, it’s necessary to take a look at a potential career and see what it would provide and whether or not it might be a good fit for you personally. With that in mind, is petroleum engineering the career for you?
One of the first things you’ll want to think about in terms of a career in petroleum engineering will be your personal and academic interests and skills. Engineering draws heavily upon math and the sciences, and these days more than ever, also requires a great deal of computer knowledge, comfort and capability. If you don’t like these subjects and areas, then most likely no type of engineering will be a good match for you.
However, if you are strong in these subjects and disciplines, and also interested in them, then petroleum engineering may indeed be a good fit. Not only that, but a complex career such as petroleum engineering will also require a great deal of problem solving skills, analytical and logical deduction and reasoning, and so forth. Having a curious mind by nature, wanting to know about how things work and how to improve upon them, and so forth, are good indications and traits that this career will be lined up with you and what you enjoy.
Now, what about the career itself? What does it offer, and what are some of the key benefits to the field of petroleum engineering? Well, the reason it has generated so much attention and buzz over the past several years has been because of the salaries that individuals in this field earn. Petroleum engineering is currently ranked as the bachelors degree which provides the highest starting salaries across all fields, jobs and industries. According to July 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, starting salaries for petroleum engineers will be about $83,000, which is absolutely phenomenal.
The earnings potential doesn’t stop there, either. Petroleum engineers can continue to advance up the ladder and earn some fantastic salaries. May 2010 data from the BLS shows that the mean annual wage for all petroleum engineers was $127,970. This is the highest for any discipline of engineering, a broad field which encompasses many of the best paying jobs of any kind
And that’s just the average, which shows that it can move up even higher. At the 75th percentile, petroleum engineers earn above $158,000, and at the top 90th percentile, petroleum engineers earn more than $166,000. Clearly, the great salaries of this career path are a major reason to consider choosing it, and if you have the right skills and interests, then these lucrative financial rewards are a wonderful bonus.
There are other intriguing factors and benefits with petroleum engineering as well. For one thing, you’re going to be at the forefront of one of the most important areas and fields of our times. The usage of natural resources, their affect on the environment, their efficiency and improvement, working with renewable energy and more, are all some of the hottest and most hotly contested subjects in the economy and in politics right now. Petroleum engineering will put you right in the middle of this, and will ensure that you can potentially have a positive impact in how it all plays out, making new developments, insights and improvements.
Petroleum engineers are also in high demand. The BLS projects that from 2008 to 2018 there will be 18% job growth in the field, a faster than average growth rate. Additionally, petroleum engineers can find work in many other engineering disciplines, as well as other fields and areas on their own. From government and nonprofit work, to environmental engineering, mining and geological engineering, consulting and more, petroleum engineers have the world at their fingertips in terms of job availability and options.
This is just the beginning of what petroleum engineering has to offer. From the great salary and a wide array of job opportunities, to a challenging and dynamic work environment right at the cutting edge of our technology and society, petroleum engineering is a fantastic career choice for individuals with the right aptitude and desire.