Petroleum Engineering is a field that involves itself with the study of sub-surface activities which deal with the production of hydrocarbon compounds from natural gas and crude oil. This specialized field began in the 1890’s in California with mining engineering and geology.

When the term Petroleum Engineering is used, it is of essence to understand that this involves only the first stage of petroleum production leaving out the second phase that refers to the refining and the distribution of petroleum for consumption.

Petroleum Engineering is one of the lucrative careers to get involved in given it attractive salary and allowances considerations. This however does not come easy as a lot of skill and academic knowledge have to be fused.

Engineers are needed to make decisions regarding to the drilling process, be able to test the oil and local water bodies, supervise the work crew and guarantee a cost- effective extraction process.

The engineers specializing in this field find employment opportunities in oil and gas companies as contractors providing advice to the oil industry, governmental agencies, and university research departments and in the construction and tool manufacturing industries.

Some employers will offer recent graduates on-the-job training or job shadowing with the aim of familiarizing them with the work and to place them on their feet.

Examples of Entry Levels for Petroleum Engineering

  • Process Engineering- Refinery
  • Support production operations and help in the management of capital projects, monitoring and evaluation of process unit performance plus assisting with design and implementation of new DCS control systems.


    - Bachelor of Science, Chemical/ Petroleum Engineer

    - 5-10 years process engineering experience

    - Experience in a petrochemical plant or refinery

  • Reservoir Engineer
  • The Reservoir engineer will create or modify the strategic development plan, identify opportunities to pursue additional recovery, technically defending reserves when needed, monitoring reservoir performance and setting injection and offtake targets for wells in the field.


    - Minimum experience of 10 years

    - Minimum B.S in Engineering with preference from Petroleum Engineering

    - Past experiences in EOR processes

    - Strong business acumen and understanding of project economics

    - Project Management skills

  • Senior Environmental Engineer
  • Responsible for obtaining, coordinating and managing the site’s environmental permitting activities including but not limited to review of air permitting applications for submission to regulatory agencies.


    - B.S. Chemical Engineering

    - 8 years refining or petrochemical experience

    - Understanding of state and federal regulations applicable to petroleum refining

    - Effective and efficient computer skills

    - Strong customer service skills