What does it take to be a petroleum engineering major?

Petroleum is one of the world’s oldest life-bloods, it fuels the economy in many countries and is behind many forms of industry. A petroleum engineer is someone who specializes in the procuring and refining of things like crude oil or natural gas, any type of hydrocarbon product. It is an exciting career that involves both a lot of physical ability and mental acuity to master, but the rewards can be quit significant. One of the main functions that they provide is the development of both new equipment and strategies for extracting the natural resources from various locations. They work with other members of a team, such as drillers and geologist to determine what the best method of extraction may be.

What is takes to get into the field: Academically Speaking

A vital foundation to any successful engineering career is a good education. Most people in the field hold at least a bachelors in engineering with a solid core in advanced mathematics and science. You should expect to have a master of a algebra, trigonometry, calculus, biology, and chemistry. After you’ve obtained a solid bachelors, you will want to take a specialized course that is accredited by a board that oversees engineering and technology. You will also need to master how to use computer design generation programs to create your schematics.

Some companies may also require or prefer additional credentials beyond a traditional campus degree. One such is a membership into “The Society of Petroleum Engineers”. You need to have at least four years of professional experience and pass their two exams before being able to obtain a licensee from them.

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What it takes to get into the field: Personality & Attitude

Aside from a solid education, you should also have a few important personal skills as well. An engineer should have excellent analytical skills and creativity. Your job relies on you being able to take in the available data, assess the need, and determine how to best meet that need. You will be working with various terrains and conditions that all factor into design elements that will be essential to the success of your plans. In addition to being able to accurately analyze and solve problems, you also need to be a strong team player, or at the very least be able to communicate well with others. Your role will always be as part of a team of people who are either providing vital information or implementing your plans.

How to fund your Education?

So you’re all set to join your dream college…  But wait! how are you going to pay for your education?  May be you’re blessed in a family with a strong financial background but what if you’re not?  Well there are several ways to get tuition money if you prepare ahead of time.  Through options like student financial aid, student loans, scholarships, and federal grants, you will be able to get enough funding to get you through college.  Personally speaking, you should try your luck with scholarships as you don’t have to pay back the money (as compared to high interest student loans).  First & foremost, start applying to every petroleum engineering fellowships available across the nation.  By doing this, you’ll be in a good position to secure some funds for college expense.

What else the job entails…

While engineers by trade tend to do their designs at a desk, most positions in this field will also be required to travel to assess different sites. Being able to tolerate frequent trips to the the work site and on site conditions is imperative. So adequate physical conditioning is important to workers in this field. This includes being on your feet for extended periods of time, moving around and physically adjusting the machinery you designed and being able to accurately inspect the installation. You may also be required for repair the active systems, so staying fit and agile very important for all stages of the career. The normal shifts that engineers can expect to work are nothing less than heavy full time hours. Most work at least 50 to 60 hours a week between traveling and being on site, with some who opt to work in teams that rotate 84 hours of straight on then 84 hours off duty.

Pay scales and demand

Around the year 2022 there is expected to be growth in demand up to 26% (projected by bls) in the field. The reason being is that a large portion of those currently working will be at their retirement stage starting then. Those who begin on the path to replacing them with the next couple years would be in a prime position to fill the void created by many personnel’s opting for another position in a related industry.

The typical salary for engineers in this field can be anywhere from the bottom 10% making $75k all the way up to the topmost 10% making $187k or higher. The median wage is around $130k or close to $63 an hour. Experience, education, and special credentials or licensing account can make dramatic difference in pay rates. Another factor that influences the wage is they type of specialization you’ve earned within the field.

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