Writing: Everyone has dreams and goals in life.



                    Everyone has dreams and goals in life. The hardest part is not formulating those thoughts but taking them to the next level, from a prototype to a finish product. Since my early age, I had a great interest for math and sciences; I may not be the brightest student in earth. However, I managed to have A’s and B’s in all those subjects. I was the type of hard working students; I never took any knowledge for granted. I had to do my own researches and keep harassing my teachers till hearing satisfying answers. Reaching high school level, my passion for science and especially for chemistry grown. This passion and interest kept growing till present day. I discovered that everything around us is related to chemistry. We can start with the oxygen we bread, the food we eat, the water we drink and any tool or device we use in our daily life. We all hear about how philosophy is the mother of all science, I propose to proclaim chemistry as the father of all sciences.

              Actually, I’m enrolled in an Associate degree in Engineering and my goal is to pursue a bachelor degree in petroleum engineering. It took me couple years of research to come up with this specific choice. The chemical industry field is really vast and choosing one specialty was not easy at all. However, I found out that the source of all chemical materials in use in any chemical industry is oil .I decided to be part of this huge process of transforming crude oil to finish products. Another reason behind my choice is the extreme lack of engineers in this field. New studies showed that the US will be the first producer of oil within next 10 years. We will not be only able to fulfill our need on oil but also to export it. One of the issues addressed by the well-known Society of Petroleum Engineers is the rising numbers of engineers going to retirement comparing to the number of fresh graduate engineers.  My professional goal is not just be one of many petroleum engineers; I want to be part of a revolutionary team petroleum engineers working to make the oil extracted as efficient as possible by injecting up to 50% ethanol or other less pollutant ingredients. We all hear about the necessity to replace oil with another source of energy, so far no other source is as efficient as oil. In my opinion, the challenge is not replacing oil completely but diminishing the quantity of oil used gradually till finding a non-pollutant source of energy.

Petroleum engineers are responsible for designing equipment and developing methods for extracting oil and gas from the earth. These individuals work alongside other professionals, such as sub-surface surveyors and geologists, to find oil and gas deposits below the surface of the earth, analyze the ground that must be drilled, design the proper equipment for the task, and determine the best methods for extracting the oil or gas in the safest and most efficient way possible. Licensure is available for petroleum engineers in every state, though it is not required in most cases. Obtaining a petroleum engineering license usually involves first earning a bachelor's degree, gaining a certain number of years of engineering work experience, and then passing state licensing exams. Work experience can be earned through internships and apprenticeships with engineering firms. Once you have your license, you must maintain it with continuing education and license renewal exams in most cases.

Engineers must be licensed if they offer their services to the public directly, but must petroleum engineers do not. "A petroleum engineer is not required to be licensed because they often work for a corporation or other clients one step removed from the public," said Ken Leonard, the senior manager of the Global Training Program for the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

However, extracting oil and gas from the earth is dangerous work, and the men and women working on the rigs put their lives in your hands when they use the equipment you design and the methods you develop. For these reasons, many petroleum engineers seek licensure anyway, despite the fact that it’s not mandatory. "It is important for any engineer, not just petroleum engineers, to become licensed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public when they are providing those engineering services to the public," said Angeline Kinnaird Linn, the program director for the Colorado Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers, and Professional Land Surveyors. For these reasons, states want to make sure their petroleum engineers have extensive knowledge and are highly skilled before they are granted a license.

"Licensure in engineering in the U.S. is a voluntary activity administered by the states where an engineer chooses to take an exam to demonstrate mastery of a technical field, and suitable experience to justify awarding the license," said Leonard.

To be considered for licensure, whether the nature of your work requires it or you choose to get one voluntarily, most states require you to have an engineering degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology to guarantee that your education is of high quality. We must then pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE) , which allows you to start working under the supervision of licensed engineers as an engineer-in-training. The amount of time varies by state, but on average, we will need to earn about four years of work experience. Once we gain enough experience, we will be eligible to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE), which will earn us a professional engineering license and the title of professional engineer.

We may also choose to obtain a Petroleum Engineering Certification, from the SPE. Certification is not required, but according to the SPE, it will give us recognition in the petroleum industry, demonstrate that we are committed to petroleum engineering, and help us learn more about the industry. Much like getting a professional engineering license, we must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program, complete at least four years of engineering experience, and be a member in good standing with the SPE. We must then pass an exam demonstrating our thorough understanding of petroleum engineering, after which we'll earn our certification.

Technological advancements and new discoveries in the petroleum industry are being made almost on a daily basis. For this reason, petroleum engineers need to constantly keep up with the changes in the field and understand how to apply new tools and knowledge to their own work. Your petroleum engineering license, whether you were required to get one or chose to do so voluntarily, is only good for a certain amount of time, depending on your state's regulations. To ensure that all petroleum engineers remain current with the latest developments, licensure must be maintained and renewed on a regular basis, with continuing education in most cases.

Employment of petroleum engineers is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations. Additionally, job prospects should be highly favorable because many engineers are expected to retire. Because oil and gas extraction is the largest industry employing petroleum engineers, any effects of rising oil prices will likely be noticed here first. Higher prices can cause oil and gas companies to drill in deeper waters and in less hospitable places and return to existing wells to try new extraction methods. This means that oil drilling operations will likely become more complex and will require more engineers to work on each drilling operation.

Demand for petroleum engineers in support activities for mining should also be strong, as oil and gas companies find it convenient and cost-effective to seek their services on an as-needed basis. This is partly because petroleum engineering is one of the higher paying occupations in the economy. Experienced petroleum engineers also may start their own companies and provide services to larger oil and gas companies.

The median annual wage for petroleum engineers was $114,080 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $63,480, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.


The table below provides Average Hourly and Average Annual Wages for Petroleum engineers by State and Metropolitan Area.




Ave Hourly

Ave Anually



$154,500   Details



$79,990   Details



$180,150   Details


$61.97   Details

$128,890   Details


$65.70   Details

$136,650   Details


$35.93   Details

$74,720   Details


$47.94   Details

$99,710   Details


$46.12   Details

$95,920   Details


$47.86   Details

$99,550   Details


$45.53   Details

$94,710   Details


$36.73   Details

$76,390   Details


$37.99   Details

$79,010   Details


$44.91   Details

$93,410   Details

North Dakota

$78.39   Details

$163,060   Details




New Jersey

$51.59   Details

$107,300   Details

New Mexico

$47.54   Details

$98,870   Details


$46.31   Details

$96,320   Details


$53.07   Details

$110,390   Details


$42.67   Details

$88,750   Details


The society of petroleum engineering annual salary survey for 2012 was successfully sent to 59,332 professional members via e-mail on 13 July 2012. This year 7,117 members provided valid responses resulting in a 12% response rate. This sample of completed responses produces a margin of error of ± 1.05% at a 95% confidence level. This year’s participants are based in 102 different countries and represent citizenship in 103 countries. Their employers are based in 95 countries, and 40 U.S states. In 2012, almost six out of ten respondents 58% were based in countries outside of the United States.

2012 SPE Membership Salary Survey Highlight Report - September 2012


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Petroleum Engineers,
  • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/petroleum-engineers.htm (visited April 12, 2013).
  • “Engineering Overview"Prepared as part of the Sloan Career Cornerstone Center(www.careercornerstone.org)
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers, 222 Palisades Creek Dr., Richardson, TX 75080. Internet: http://www.spe.org
  • American Chemical Society, Department of Career Services, 1155 16th St. NW., Washington, DC 20036. Internet: http://www.chemistry.org