Petroleum Technician Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Aspiring petroleum technicians can enroll in an undergraduate program in petroleum technology or a closely related field. Students learn how to measure the physical characteristics of existing well sites or chart geologic conditions for new ones.

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Prospective students can find associate's degree, bachelor's degree and undergraduate certificate programs that provide preparation for future petroleum technicians. They are available at two-year colleges and four-year universities.

Schools with Petroleum Technician Programs

The following schools offer petroleum technician programs at various degree levels:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)*
Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 2-year, Public Associate's $4,070
Coastal Bend College Beeville, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,576
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,360
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 4-year, Public Bachelor's $5,545
Navarro College Corsicana, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,568
North Central Texas College Gainesville, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,832
Lewis and Clark Community College Godfrey, IL 2-year, Public Associate's $8,256
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA 4-year, Public Associate's, Bachelor's $7,348
University of Pittsburgh - Titusville Titusville, PA 2-year, Public Associate's $11,604
Western Texas College Snyder, TX 2-year, Public Associate's $1,898 in-district, $2,808

Source: * National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Prospective students should consider the following when selecting a school:

  • Prospective students may want to look for schools with specialized petroleum technology training facilities.
  • It can also be helpful to find out if the school facilitates internships, in which students may gain experience working alongside oil industry professionals.
  • If you are more interested in becoming a scout who looks for potential drilling sites, programs that offer courses in land and leasing contracts, as well as information collecting and prospecting, might be a better fit.
  • It can be beneficial to find out if the school is associated with oil industry partners, who may provide financial aid, paid internships and/or future networking opportunities.

Certificate Programs

Undergraduate certificate programs in petroleum technology consist of a short series of courses that introduce students to the fundamentals of the oil industry, including exploration, drilling, production, transportation, refinement and sales. Students are also familiarized with industry safety procedures. In total, certificate programs usually take about a year to complete.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs typically cover the same oil industry topics as certificate programs, but they also require students to fulfill general education requirements. Some programs also include professional certification exam preparation within the curriculum. Graduates are commonly awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

At some schools, it is possible for students who already hold an associate's degree in petroleum technology or a closely related field to advance to a two-year bachelor's degree completion program in the field. Students in these programs may be required to declare a specific concentration area, such as safety technology or exploration and production. They are also granted credit for cooperative work experiences. Alternatively, some schools provide Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in petroleum engineering. Although an engineering degree is not required for work as petroleum technician, it can provide valuable background education.

Petroleum technology programs combine coursework on the economic and technical aspects of gas and oil drilling. Students can consider internship opportunities and specialization options when choosing between schools.

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