Is Petroleum Engineering a Good Career Path?

by Usama Chaudry on May 13, 2022

Are you considering becoming a petroleum engineer but thinking:

Is petroleum engineering a good career path?

Then you are in the right place.

Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the extraction and production of oil and gas. Petroleum engineers work in a variety of settings, from offshore platforms to onshore refineries. They use their knowledge of physics, chemistry, and math to develop new ways to extract oil and gas from the ground.

This article will let you discover everything about petroleum engineering. From the reasons to become a petroleum engineer, the average pay, and the typical duties, of the different types of petroleum engineers, we’ll discuss everything.

Furthermore, we will also tell you about the skills, competencies, and educational requirements required to become a petroleum engineer.

Continue reading this blog to decide if a career in petroleum engineering is suitable for you.

Reasons Why Should You Become a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineering is a field that offers many challenges and opportunities. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider becoming a petroleum engineer:

  1. Higher income
  2. Interact and collaborate with all types of people
  3. Traveling possibilities
  4. Career opportunities
  5. Petroleum engineering is an evolving field

Reason#1: Higher Income

A career in petroleum engineering can be a rewarding career option for those who value earning money. Petroleum engineers make loads of money, with an average pay of CAD 115,304 per year in Canada. Employees who advance to higher ranks with major petroleum corporations can also expect massive raises over the average income.

Reason#2: Interact and Collaborate With All Types of People

As a petroleum engineer, you’ll need to interact and collaborate with all types of people. This includes other engineers, geologists, managers, and even government officials. You’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and work together to find the best solutions for projects.

Petroleum engineering degree programs will prepare you for this by teaching you how to work in team settings and giving you opportunities to practice your communication skills. petroleum engineering schools also typically have strong relationships with the industry, so you’ll have the opportunity to network with professionals and learn about different petroleum engineering careers.

Reason#3: Traveling Possibilities

Petroleum engineering jobs may require regular or infrequent official visits based on the job role. Petroleum engineers can go to places where drilling or other resource collection activities occur. If you love traveling, a petroleum engineering job that requires frequent job tours may enable you to explore regions that provide tourism and other leisure activities outside of working hours.

Reason#4: Career Opportunities

Analysts predict that the petroleum industry will continue to be a vital part of the national and international markets. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an increase of 8 percent. This can offer employment stability for prospective employees of the petroleum engineering career path because it demonstrates a healthy sector with many petroleum engineering job prospects in the coming years.

Reason#5: Petroleum Engineering Is an Evolving Field

Petroleum engineering is an evolving field. It is constantly changing and adapting to new technologies and discoveries. This makes it an exciting and challenging field to work in.

As a petroleum engineer, you will be responsible for the extraction and production of oil and gas. This involves the use of a variety of technologies and techniques. You will need to be able to understand and interpret data from a variety of sources. You will also need to be able to work effectively with other engineers and technicians.

Petroleum engineering is a challenging field that offers a great deal of opportunity for those who are willing to work hard and learn new things.

Duties & Responsibilities of a Petroleum Engineer

The duties and responsibilities of a petroleum engineer typically include:

  • Keeping track of production rates and scheduling rework operations to enhance output.
  • Evaluating costs and measuring the production capacities and commercial benefits of oil and gas wells to determine the financial potential of possible drilling spots.
  • Scrutinizing information to provide suggestions for well positioning and auxiliary operations to boost production.
  • Defining and overseeing well refurbishment and stimulation strategies to increase oil and gas production.
  • Managing and supervising the drilling, testing, and surveying of wells.
  • Coordinating the operations of researchers, planners, and developers.
  • Employing engineering concepts to develop or upgrade mining and oil field facilities and equipment.
  • Checking instruments and machinery to guarantee that they are safe and meet performance requirements.
  • Preparing technical reports for engineers and administrators.
  • Using findings to develop, create, or analyze new gear or procedures.

Average Salary of a Petroleum Engineer by Regions in Canada

The average petroleum engineer salary is CAD 115,304 per year in Canada, which translates to CAD 59.13 per hour.

Entry-level petroleum engineering job positions have a starting salary of CAD 101,250 per year or CAD 51.92 per hour. The most experienced petroleum engineers earn up to CAD 143,250 per year or CAD 73.46 per hour.

Following are the average annual salaries of petroleum engineers in different regions of Canada:

Name of Province: Yukon

Average Annual Salary: CAD 95,575

Name of Province: British Columbia

Average Annual Salary: CAD 77,128

Name of Province: Alberta

Average Annual Salary: CAD 118,688

Name of Province: Quebec

Average Annual Salary: CAD 86,536

Name of Province: Saskatchewan

Average Annual Salary: CAD 105,101

Name of Province: Ontario

Average Annual Salary: CAD 149,290

Name of Province: Manitoba

Average Annual Salary: CAD 89,557

Name of Province: Nova Scotia

Average Annual Salary: CAD 88,045

Name of Province: New Brunswick

Average Annual Salary: CAD 85,268

Educational Requirements to Become a Petroleum Engineer

Following are the educational requirements that are crucial and will be beneficial in the petroleum engineering career path:

Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree

First and foremost, you must earn a bachelor’s in any of the following engineering disciplines to get a petroleum engineer job:

  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Engineering 
  • Civil Engineering (Types of Civil Engineering Jobs)

Pursue a Master’s Degree

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you can level up your education by attaining a master’s degree in petroleum or chemical engineering which will give you an edge over other candidates for entry-level and mid-level petroleum engineering job roles.

Related: Difference between Petroleum Engineer and Chemical Engineer

Obtain Petroleum Engineering Certification

After completing your studies, you may pursue a professional certification in petroleum engineering from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, which will enhance your academic credentials and assist you in qualifying for senior-level positions within the petroleum engineer’s career path.

Skills & Competencies Required to Pursue a Career in Petroleum Engineering

Here is a list of the skills and competencies required for a successful career in petroleum engineering:

Communication Skills

Petroleum engineers must have practical communication skills to allocate tasks, provide directions, and easily explain technical or complicated ideas to those who lack industrial knowledge or comprehension.

Technical Skills

As a petroleum engineer, you must have the essential technical skills to run industrial machinery, read blueprints for a drill location, and make wise decisions.

Analytical Skills

Petroleum engineers must possess analytical skills to evaluate where and how to drill to obtain the maximum resources from a particular spot. It will also assist you in comprehending and reading data, information, and location conditions.

Computer Skills

It is imperative to have computer skills as petroleum engineers leverage several computer applications like CAD to develop and interpret blueprints and designs.

Teamwork Skills

As a petroleum engineer, it is essential for you to work in a team environment so that your project proceeds smoothly and effectively.

Types of Petroleum Engineering

Following are the different types of petroleum engineering specialties:

1.   Drilling Engineers

Drilling engineers are responsible for choosing the most efficient drilling method based on multiple considerations, such as budget. They assure harvesting reliability, efficiency, and least disruption to the environment and surrounding ecosystems.

2.   Production Engineers

Production engineers are in charge of monitoring older wells after their crews have finished drilling. They also analyze gas and oil production to increase the proportion of oil extracted from each well.

3.   Reservoir Engineers

A reservoir engineer uses data to estimate how much gas and oil can be extracted from a reservoir. They direct crews to retrieve as many resources as possible from reservoirs, taking into account considerations like site features, climate, and age.

4.   Completions Engineers

Completion engineers devise efficient techniques for filtering oil and gas as it passes through pipelines. They oversee the execution of a project, emphasizing the appropriate application of tubing, suitable lifts, different piping components, and precise installation.

In-Demand Regions for Petroleum Engineers in Canada

The following regions offer the most petroleum engineering jobs in Canada:

  • Calgary, AB
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 118,688
  • St. John’s, NL
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 162,119
  • Regina, SK
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 105,101
  • York, ON
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 95,776
  • Edmonton, AB
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 102,520
  • Sherwood Park, AB
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 73,568
  • Bethune, SK
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 159,348
  • Field, BC
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 98,283
  • Nisku, AB
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 140,758
  • Victoria, BC
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 132,089
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 167,156
  • Abbotsford, BC
  • Average Annual Salary: CAD 64,960

Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Is petroleum engineering a good job for the future?

Indeed, it is. Petroleum engineering jobs are expected to expand by 8% between 2020 and 2030, which is as rapid as the average for all professions. Over the next ten years, an average of 2,100 job vacancies for petroleum engineers are predicted per year.

2- Which job has the highest salary in petroleum engineering?

Completion engineer has the highest salary in petroleum engineering, earning an average yearly compensation of CAD 99,000 – 196,000. The highest they can earn is CAD 206,000 per year.

3- Is it hard to become a petroleum engineer?

Like several other engineering disciplines, petroleum engineering is considered a challenging profession. Students pursuing petroleum engineering have a high dropout rate, and it is strongly reliant on math and physics.

4- Do petroleum engineers make a lot of money?

Yes, they do. In fact, petroleum engineering jobs are among the highest paid jobs in the world. The average petroleum engineer salary is CAD 115,304 per year in Canada, which translates to CAD 59.13 per hour. Entry-level petroleum engineers earn around CAD 101,250 per year or CAD 51.92 per hour, while the most experienced petroleum engineers make up to CAD 143,250 per year or CAD 73.46 per hour.


A profession as a petroleum engineer is one of a kind and profitable, demanding physical fitness, agility, endurance, and excellent problem-solving and analytical skills.

Petroleum engineering jobs offer several perks, whether it be higher income, numerous traveling opportunities, or increased career demand.

We hope this article helped you decide: Is petroleum engineering a good career for you?

If you still have any queries, kindly let us know in the comments section. We’ll be more than glad to assist you.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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