Petroleum Engineering is Booming

Greg Wheeler
Posted by

Developments in oil extraction continue to create some of the fastest-growing periods of economic growth in America's history in areas where hydraulic fracturing can draw out untapped reserves. Petroleum engineering experts are needed in drill sites in North Dakota and in other areas where increased oil extraction is taking place. These boom conditions are enhancing growth in many fields, from engineering jobs to support personnel, and they may well continue for the near future.

The enhanced demand for petroleum engineering experts has increased salaries and resulted in a boom in the number of new students enrolling to receive related degrees. This is a great time to be a petroleum engineering worker, even if you are not an engineer. Drillers and other on-site workers are also benefiting from the expansion. Petroleum engineering specialists remain the hottest commodity, however, delivering the knowledge needed to locate untapped reserves and employ hydraulic fracturing technology to its fullest.

Petroleum engineer was ranked thirty-two on the CNN Money list of the 100 best jobs in the nation for 2012. Perks that petroleum engineering specialists can expect to receive include a starting salary approaching six digits and additional benefits due to the current talent war being fought over trained experts in the field. New graduates can make more than double the average salary of college students entering the workforce. This situation has opened many opportunities for female workers as well, with women filling nearly half the oil jobs available in the first quarter of 2013 going to women.

The intense interest generated by the high salaries and benefits of new petroleum engineering graduates has caused a boom in enrollment at the major colleges across the nation that teach the specialized skills needed for these positions. This enrollment boom may work to counter the exceptional demand in the market in coming years, or at least to taper off the competition as new students graduate and enter the workplace. This could lead to a surplus of talent and more competition for available engineering jobs, a shift from the companies' current high competition for workers.

Petroleum engineering experts continue to enjoy boom times, and these are likely to continue to increase for the foreseeable future. The discovery of untapped reserves across the heartland of America and the development of technology to extract the oil may help spur on economic growth across the nation as a whole. The increased salaries and perks currently experienced by engineers may not last, however. An influx of students studying the profession will soon be entering the workplace, which may lower salaries and lead to increased worker competition for jobs. The full extent of the boom is not yet known, and it may well be able to support this anticipated increase in the number of petroleum engineering experts.



(Photo courtesy of


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch