Petroleum Engineering Salaries State by State

Are you starting a career as a petroleum engineer? If yes, then it's worth taking a look at what companies and organizations are paying in each particular location or state.
Nader Mowlaee

If you're considering a career as a petroleum engineer, you're in for a bright future.

That's because petroleum engineering is one of the highest-paid engineering majors in the United States. Over the next decade, many professional who built a career in this industry will be going into retirement which creates a big demand for petroleum engineers and high salary potential jobs. 

But not all petroleum engineering salaries are created equally. That's why it's important to see what your petroleum engineering salary may look like in the state you prefer to live and work in.

Here's a look at salaries for petroleum engineering jobs across the United States:

What Impacts a Petroleum Engineering Salary?

Several factors can affect the petroleum engineering salary you can expect, including the demand for petroleum engineers, your education level and your experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for petroleum engineers between 2016 and 2026 is much faster than average at a growth rate of 15 percent.

Moreover, there are more jobs available than there are petroleum engineering graduates, as of 2019. With such a high growth rate and more jobs than graduates, some employers may increase pay to entice qualified applicants.


Also, most petroleum engineers require at least a bachelor's degree. But petroleum engineers who go for higher degrees and more experience may also look forward to more earnings. For example, PayScale reports that petroleum engineers with less than five years of experience make between $97,000 and $120,000 per year. However, petroleum engineers in their mid-career who have between five and ten years experience make $120,000 while those with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of $140,000.

The annual salary for petroleum engineers increases even more for petroleum engineers who have more than 20 years experience of with annual earnings as high as $177,000.

According to Paysa, some of the top-paying companies for petroleum engineering jobs include Forest Oil Corporation ($141,000), BreitBurn Energy ($140,000), the U.S. Department of Energy ($140,000), Notable Energy ($140,000) and BP ($139,000). PayScale reports even higher earning potential at companies, such as Anadarko Petroleum Corp. where petroleum engineers can make between $164,000 to $268,000.

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What is the Average Salary for entry-level Petroleum Engineering Jobs?

According to PayScale, entry-level petroleum engineering jobs in the United States can make an average of $92,817 per year. However, Glassdoor places this annual income even higher at an average of $109,031 per year.

But ZipRecruiter places the national average much lower with salaries for entry-level petroleum engineering jobs pulling in $69,539 per year.

Petroleum engineers starting out in their careers may also earn higher or lower amounts based on where they work. For instance, an entry-level petroleum engineer who works in Texas makes an average of $61,987 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.

However, ZipRecruiter reports that entry-level petroleum engineers working in New Jersey make an average of $66,442 per year. But it's important to note that as you gain more skills and experience, your salary as a petroleum engineer will increase.

How Much Do Petroleum Engineers Make on Average?

The average annual petroleum engineering salary differs based on location and the source you use. For example, Indeed places the national average at $82,743 per year. But this amount balloons to 11 percent above the national average to $109,716 per year for petroleum engineers working in Texas. According to Indeed, petroleum engineers working in California make even more at $110,419 per year.

On the other hand, Paysa reports that petroleum engineers in the United States make an average of $123,247 with the top 10 percent earning as much as $154,696 per year. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average petroleum engineering salary made $156,370 per year in May 2018. Moreover, some states outperformed other states in earnings for petroleum engineers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that some of the top-paying states for petroleum engineers include Indiana ($198,590), New Jersey ($194,340), Texas ($169,010), Alaska ($161,290) and Colorado ($153,640).

Petroleum Engineering Salaries State by State

Here's a look at what you may expect to earn as a petroleum engineer from state to state, according to data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

State Avg. Salary
Alabama $115,180
Alaska $161,290
Arizona $137,830
California $142,430
Colorado $153,640
Hawaii $121,050
Illinois $131,510
Indiana $198,590
Kansas $118,160
Louisiana $145,880
Montana $141,530
New Jersey $194,340
North Dakota $124,880
Ohio $94,270
Oklahoma $146,990
Pennsylvania $122,510
Texas $169,010
West Virginia $111,400
Wyoming $115,250

Final Thoughts

A career as a petroleum engineer offers a way for you to earn a high income in a stable position that will continue to be in demand for a long time. But when it comes to choosing where you should work, it's worth comparing the various salaries of petroleum engineers from state to state.

By considering the various aspects that may impact your petroleum engineering salary and how earnings look from state to state, you can have a benchmark figure for the salary range. This will also help you decide which location will be the best fit for you based on the particular situation you are in and what your short-term and long-term career development goals are.

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