Petroleum engineering is a field focused on the locating, extracting and refining the earth's energy resources. It is also the highest-paid of all majors according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, with a starting salary of $93,500, $22,000 more than the next-highest-paid major. The engineer's primary responsibility is to develop and design extraction methods for obtaining oil and natural gas. These engineers must possess a bachelor's degree in engineering with a focus on petroleum engineering or a related field. Pursuing a degree in engineering requires a strong math, science and problem-solving skills.
Dalhousie University offers a bachelor's degree in engineering with a concentration on mineral resource engineering. The required coursework addresses the basic math and science areas necessary to an engineering degree. In the last year of study, the student has the opportunity to specialize in the area of mining or petroleum. The petroleum option focuses on reservoir engineering, advanced petroleum engineering, enhanced recovery and offshore drilling and production. The student has the opportunity to take technical electives as part of her coursework.
University of Regina
The University of Regina offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in petroleum systems engineering. The program requirements consist of the completion of basic math, science and design courses. Students learn design, and evaluation technologies to enhance an understanding of oil and gas production. The utilization of computer labs assist in developing the skills necessary for this profession through the use of specifically designed software.
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta offers a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering. This program is part of the civil and environmental engineering department. The first year of study focuses on the core requirements for all engineering students. In the second year, the applicants apply for the specific area of their choice. Within the area of petroleum engineering, the student can pursue a specialization area. Topic areas such as petroleum reservoir, fluid mechanics of natural gas production and thermal recovery are a few of the 10 identified areas.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology offers a two-year diploma in the area of petroleum engineering technology. This program focuses on the upstream petroleum industry and provides the skills necessary to pursue a career in this field. Entrance requirements include a background in math and science. There are 26 required courses which include petroleum geology, formation evaluation, natural gas operations and heavy oil and thermal operations.
2016 Salary Information for Petroleum Engineers
Petroleum engineers earned a median annual salary of $128,220 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, petroleum engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $97,430, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $179,450, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 33,700 people were employed in the U.S. as petroleum engineers.
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