What Is the Typical Salary of a Petroleum Engineer?

Petroleum engineers explore new and more cost-efficient ways to remove oil and natural gas from reservoirs, whether by designing new drilling equipment or developing new extraction techniques. Read on to learn about how your salary can vary based upon factors like your location and the type of company you work for. Schools offering Nuclear Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to Payscale.com, the median annual salary of petroleum engineers was $101,616 as of May 2019. That's a median hourly wage of $49.43. Salaries can vary based upon what kind of company you work for and where your job is located.

Important Facts About Petroleum Engineers

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Work Environment Office, research laboratory, drilling site
Similar Occupations Aerospace engineer, architectural manager, chemist
Key Skills Analytical skills, creativity, mathematics, problem solving

Salaries Based on Industry

Chances are, if you work as a petroleum engineer, you'll be employed by a company that extracts crude oil and gas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), these companies employed 9,460 of the 32,510 petroleum engineers working in the United States in May 2018. Engineers working in this industry earned a mean wage of $157,520 a year.

Companies within the employment services industry were the highest-paying; the BLS reports that their yearly mean wage was $207,100. Other pipeline transportation industries, which employed 200 employees, paid a much lower mean wage of $121,550 as of May 2018. Other industries with high mean wages included, company and enterprise management, scientific research and development, and financial investment.

Salaries Based on Location

The BLS reported in May 2018 that more than half of the petroleum engineers working in the United States were located in Texas. Their mean annual salary was $169,010 at that time, which makes Texas one of the highest-paying states for this occupation. Other states with the highest-paid engineers in this field include Indiana, New Jersey, Alaska, and Colorado.

Job Outlook

According to 2016-2026 employment projections from the BLS, petroleum job growth will be much faster than average at 15%. The BLS expects favorable job prospects due to increased demand for oil and gas extraction, as well as the retirement of those in the field. As of May 2018, states with the highest employment levels in petroleum engineering included Texas, Oklahoma, California, Colorado, and Louisiana.

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