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Petroleum Engineering Overview - The Field - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations 


Day in the Life
A degree in petroleum engineering can lead to many career paths.  While most work directly for oil and gas production companies, the options for work are broad and cross over many industries.

Job Duties
Petroleum engineers focus on a wide range of projects and activities. Some focus on production challenges, identifying, testing, and implementing methods for improving oil and gas production.  They might focus on economics, helping a team determine the optimum number of wells appropriate for a given operation. A petroleum engineer may focus on safety issues, or maintenance support, identifying and planning upgrades of equipment or systems.  A petroleum engineer may choose to teach, or to serve as a consultant to investors, banks, or other financial services firms. 

The Workplace
The type of job a petroleum engineer has will often determine whether how much they work inside or outside. Many petroleum  engineers work on job sites, but others work in an office setting.  A consultant to the financial industry, for example, may spend most of their time working in an office setting.  There are strong international travel opportunities for petroleum engineers, as it is very much a global business. Many companies have offices and sites in multiple countries and transfers are common.

Teams and Coworkers
Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with coworkers. For example, a petroleum engineer might be working on a team with geologists and contractors developing a design for a new drilling operation. Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking for advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and work with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing. Communication abilities are important because engineers often interact with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

 


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