Is Petroleum Engineering the Career for You?
Petroleum engineers earn some of the highest salaries among all engineers, and may expect job opportunities to grow healthily for the next decade. To excel in this career, you will need a sense of adventure, an aptitude for technical subjects, and a flexible nature. See how many qualities you share with successful petroleum engineers:
|Are you analytical?||Yes or No|
|Are you creative?||Yes or No|
|Do you have interpersonal skills?||Yes or No|
|Are math and science your favorite subjects?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy solving problems?||Yes or No|
|Are you a team player?||Yes or No|
|Are you willing to travel?||Yes or No|
|Do you adapt easily?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself computer savvy?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong communication skills?||Yes or No|
Why Your Answers Matter
Are you analytical?
Petroleum engineers conduct experiments, assess plans and analyze data in order to develop extraction plans and the equipment necessary for each specific drilling site.
Are you creative?
Because each work site is unique, petroleum engineers need to be innovative in finding and determining the best method of extracting oil or gas. They also need creative skills to design equipment that will be most effective for a specific project.
Do you have interpersonal skills?
Successful petroleum engineers enjoy collaborating and forming relationships with co-workers. They are naturally inquisitive, and adept at asking questions and articulating ideas.
Are math and science your favorite subjects?
A petroleum engineering degree program heavily emphasizes math and science courses. Requirements typically include calculus, biology, trigonometry and chemistry.
Do you enjoy solving problems?
Petroleum engineers must identify potential problems with drilling sites, design plans to mitigate those problems, and quickly find solutions to unexpected problems that may arise during the extraction process.
Are you a team player?
Oil and gas extraction projects are complex and require petroleum engineers to work closely with a team of professionals, including other engineers, geologists, equipment operators, and managers.
Are you willing to travel?
Petroleum engineers spend a great deal of time at drilling sites. To excel in this career, you should be open to and enjoy traveling domestically and abroad, and be willing to be away from home for long periods.
Do you adapt easily?
Each project a petroleum engineer works on brings them to a new location. You will need to be adaptable to different climates, regions and working environments.
Do you consider yourself computer savvy?
Petroleum engineers must use a variety of computer software programs for project management, financial and scientific analysis, and project design.
Do you have strong communication skills?
Petroleum engineers need exceptional verbal and writing skills to prepare and clearly communicate plans to co-workers and subordinates, and to report on the progress of projects.
Assess Your Next Steps
Petroleum engineering is a good career choice for you if you answered affirmatively to a majority of these questions. To become a petroleum engineer, you will need at least a bachelor's degree. While petroleum engineering is the optimal major, you may also enter this field with a degree in chemical or mechanical engineering. In choosing a degree program, you should keep in mind that future employers will value your hands-on experience, so a school that emphasizes co-operative education and internship programs may be the best choice.