Petroleum Engineering Salaries Worldwide

As earth's population continues to grow the oil & gas industry will continue to thrive as well, so without a doubt getting a petroleum engineering job will teach you lessons and skills that will always remain in demand.
Nader Mowlaee

Petroleum engineering has been one of the highest paying careers in the history of engineering jobs. This is primarily because this job demands a lot of you, physically and mentally, while working in remote locations and usually on lengthy schedules. And that's why it has maintained its highest salary status until now.

This field of work focuses on the exploration and production of gas and oil. Its sub-disciplines include reservoir engineering, drilling, and production. But how much do petroleum engineers get paid? How much do they make an hour? Will it be really worth going to college for? Keep reading to find out!


Petroleum Engineering Salary in the United States

In the United States, Petroleum Engineers get paid an average annual salary of $101,107 according to Payscale, while Glassdoor reports an average annual salary of $118,428. These numbers vary from time to time due to where and how the research/surveys were conducted; however, these salary examples and data can be good measuring standards for someone wanting to take a career path that would pay higher than the average of other engineering branches.

Petroleum engineering salary in the United States should also be looked at state by state. There are states that pay higher salaries than the rest for Petroleum Engineering jobs. This will hugely depend on the type if the projects, their scale, and location, among several factors.

The state at the top of the list is Texas. It offers a monthly salary of $13,695, which totals to $164,340 per year. Second in rank is Colorado, which pays $13,042 monthly salary, a bit lower than Texas, which totals to $156,500 per year.

On the third rank in terms of highest salary is Alaska with a monthly salary of $12,221 that totals to $146,650 per year. Other states that pay more than $100,000 per year are Washington, Alabama, Louisiana, California, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Indiana (the lowest but still really good at $133,020 per year).

For the hourly wage computation, this does not include bonuses or other benefits from the company. Petroleum engineering jobs offer $36 per hour at the percentile of 10%; at the percentile of 25%, it is at $47.78 per hour; at the percentile of 50%, it is as $62.49 per hour; at the percentile of 75%, it is at $88.97 per hour; and at the percentile of 90%, it is as high as $90 per hour or even more.

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Salaries of Petroleum Engineers around the World

In Canada, the petroleum engineering salary average is at $58,398 per year, which converts to $29.95 per hour. Fresh graduates who have no experience yet start at $47,500 per year average. For experienced engineers, they can get paid $99,277 per year.

Nigeria offers an average yearly salary of NGN 4,000,000, which is approximately $11,111. In Nigeria, this is great pay. The actual conversion rate to US dollars may vary based on current exchange rates in the country. The lowest pay is at NGN 528,000 and the highest is at NGN 337,000,000.

Petroleum engineering jobs are paid an average of SAR 237,206 in Saudi Arabia, which is equivalent to $63,248.61 per year. The lowest salary is at SAR 59,000 and the highest is at SAR 955,000.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil offers an average annual salary of R$217,000, which is equivalent to $54,591.78. The lowest petroleum engineer salary is R$181,000 and the highest mark is at R$290,000.

Petroleum Engineering Jobs for Fresh Graduates

By the time a student graduates from a petroleum engineering degree, he/she would have learned what the job entails. As a petroleum engineer, you will be involved in the extraction, mobilization, and utilization of oil and gas resources. In order to achieve this task, there are preliminary activities or projects that one must do. 

Some of the preliminary works to be done include designing mechanical systems, automation equipment, and commissioning processes that will be used to detect and extract gas and oil from under the ground.

Then, there’s the planning stage of how to actually prepare to drill the ground so the equipment reaches the source without trouble. The petroleum engineer may be assigned to any niche or group that relates to this overall work. Oil & gas projects always include large cross-functional teams who work together on accomplishing the same goals and assignments.

For someone who has just graduated from a Petroleum Engineering degree, you can choose a career in any of the following positions:

  • Production Engineer – this type of engineer designs equipment that will monitor, control, and manage the production process, from the well-site to the drilling until successful delivery. They do not always hold a Petroleum Engineer degree, and you will also find Mechanical Engineers and Chemical Engineers and even Physicists performing well in such positions.
  • Completion Engineer – a Completion Engineer works with the technical team to develop plans for improving the production of gas and oil from wells. Other duties of this engineer include management of other people, either in the administrative department or management of warehouses for a company, monitoring levels of stocks, planning the delivery timelines, and managing the ordering process up to the shipment.
  • Reservoir Engineer – this is another type of Petroleum Engineer that focuses on using the scientific methods, mathematical theories, and basic laws of physics and chemistry to help with the development and production of gas and oil resources from the Earth. This engineer works as a surveillance person, which means he has to monitor the surfaces already discovered and find ways to boost production. He/She is also responsible with the analysis of the inflow and outflow.
  • Drilling Engineer – as the title implies, this type of Petroleum Engineer is responsible for the drilling of gas and oil deposits. Like other types, there are analyses to be made so that costs will not be too high and that equipment designed and built will be used to their optimum. The engineer will monitor and work throughout the lifecycle of the well until the gas and oil deposits have been successfully extracted. It is also the Drilling Engineer’s job to design the well, prepare the budget for the drilling team, and then make sure the expenses are kept within that budget.